erekat raise the roof REUTERS 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority on Sunday expressed hope that members of the Quartet –
the US, EU, Russia and the UN – would obligate Israel to implement the two-state
solution on the ground so the Palestinian state would become the 194th member of
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The PA’s appeal came on the eve of a meeting of representatives
of the Quartet in Washington to discuss the future of the Middle East peace
process and the Palestinian leadership’s intention to ask the UN in September to
recognize a Palestinian state on the pre- 1967 lines.
In a related
development, PA President Mahmoud Abbas has summoned all his ambassadors to
different countries to a meeting in Turkey late this month to prepare for the
September statehood bid.
“We call on the Quartet to issue a statement
urging Israel to freeze construction in the settlements and accept the 1967
lines as the borders of the Palestinian state,” said Palestinian negotiator Saeb
He said the PA has been in contact with representatives of the
Quartet to explain to them the Palestinian position and urge them to issue the
appeal to Israel.
“Intensified settlement activities in the West Bank and Jerusalem is a basic pillar of the Israeli government’s policy,” Erekat
said. “This proves that Israel is trying to prevent the establishment of an
independent Palestinian state.”
Erekat said that during his talks with US
government officials in Washington last week he presented them with a document
detailing all of the settlement activities since the beginning of this
The document reveals Israel has built thousands of housing units in
various settlements in the West Bank, and in east Jerusalem, Erekat
He accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of “racing against
time to prevent the establishment of an independent Palestinian state” by
increasing construction in the settlements, including Jerusalem’s neighborhoods
of Gilo, Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, Pisgat Ze’ev, the Mount of Olives, Givat Hamatos
and Ras al-Amoud.
“These settlement activities are illegal and violate
international law,” Erekat complained.
“They will also destroy any chance
of implementing the two-state solution and US-led international efforts to
revive the peace process.”
Erekat’s document is largely based on a report
by Peace Now on settlement activities in the West Bank and Jewish housing in
“We hope that the Quartet meeting will come out with a
serious statement that focuses on the two-state solution on the basis of the
1967 borders and calls for an immediate cessation of settlement construction,”
Erekat called on the US and EU to recognize a Palestinian state
that would become the 194th UN member, after South Sudan.