Ron Prosor at the UN 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy UN)
The resignation of Palestinian negotiators last week from peace talks with
Israel is a “pretext to exit the talks,” Israel’s ambassador to the UN Ron
Prosor told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
Prosor called the move a
tactic, either to genuinely sabotage the talks or to cajole more concessions
from the Israeli government.
“Playing games is a no-no,” Prosor said,
especially in light of the murder of an Israeli soldier at the hands of a
16-yearold Palestinian in Afula.
He said the resignation obviously
“wasn’t a good sign,” coming halfway through a nine-month commitment to talks by
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Prosor was in Washington addressing dozens of US congressmen on
Capitol Hill, attending the 2013 conference of the Israel Allies
Labor Party chairwoman and opposition leader Shelly
Yacimovich criticized Netanyahu on Saturday over the lack of progress in peace
talks with the Palestinians.
“In the last two weeks, we have watched with
great disappointment at the manner in which the talks have been handled,”
“It’s a slap in the face to the Americans. It’s complete
insanity [for this to happen] at the same time that [the government] is igniting
the diplomatic front as it relates to the Iranian issue.”
The Labor chief
said that the party would not join the Netanyahu government, but it would
support the coalition if tangible progress was made in the peace
“Crawling to the Netanyahu government now would put an immediate
end to any chance of the talks succeeding,” she said during an appearance at a
town hall meeting in Holon.
“Netanyahu would have the benefit of a nice,
big fig leaf and he won’t have to do anything else. This would be a huge
mistake, similar to the one made by Labor under the leadership of [Ehud]
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who resigned earlier
this month over continued Israeli settlement construction, accused Israel on
Thursday of trying to sabotage the peace process.
“The only thing that is
ongoing [at the moment] is the destruction, undermining and torpedoing of the
two state solution by the settlement activities,” he told Channel 2 in an
interview. He said that by continuing settlement construction Israel is
dictating conditions to the talks.
“The real negotiation is taking place
between Prime Minister [Netanyahu], [Construction and Housing Minister Uri]
Ariel, [Defense Minister Moshe] Ya’alon and [Foreign Minister Avigdor]
Liberman,” he said.
“I thought I was there to produce a two-state
solution in the 1967 borders, but all that happened in the 100 days of
negotiations is there were more than 6,000 housing units announced – before the
recent 20,000 – more than 19 Palestinians were killed, more than 129 homes were
demolished and settler violence increased by 49 percent in the West Bank,” he
“Imagine that I declare today that I want to build 24,000 housing
units in Israel for Arabs and then I will speak to you about a two-state
Do you believe this?” Erekat also revealed some of the
concessions the Palestinians have agreed to as a part of ongoing peace
“We have accepted minor [land] swaps in size and value, we have
accepted limitations on the nature of Palestine in the future – strong police
force, no army, no navy, no air force – we have accepted all the criteria that
would lead to a twostate solution,” he said.
Erekat accused Netanyahu of
failing to declare support for a two-state solution within the June 4, 1967,
He also accused the Israeli government of lying by saying that the
Palestinians have agreed to continued settlement construction in return for the
release of 104 Palestinian prisoners.
“I’m the one who made the deal with
[US Secretary of State John] Kerry. We committed not to seek upgrading the state
of Palestine’s status at the UN for nine months in exchange for the 104
prisoners, and then we see Israeli officials saying the Palestinians traded the
prisoners for settlements. I cannot tolerate such lies.”