Erekat: Israeli claims that PA torpedoing talks false

Chief PA negotiator says Palestinians will learn US proposal's details for first time at meeting with US official later in day.

November 17, 2010 09:48
1 minute read.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat gives a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Erekat 311. (photo credit: AP)

The Palestinian Authority will only learn the details regarding the new US proposal to extend the freeze on Israeli building in the West Bank during meeting between a representative of US Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell and PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told Army Radio on Wednesday.

"All Israeli claims that Palestinians are torpedoing the [new] understanding between Washington and Jerusalem are just part of the regular Israeli machinations in the blame game," Erekat told Army Radio.

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Erekat also said during the interview that the key to peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is in the hands of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

"The Israelis know our position...we will negotiate beginning with borders and security...all other core issues...will be dealt with after 90 days," he stated.

Erekat comments were made in reference to the proposed three month freeze on West Bank settlement construction.

The Palestinian official also called for a two-state solution along 1967 borders.

"I am under your [the Israeli] occupation...we want to reach a two-state solution with 1967 borders...we have recognized your existence," Erekat said.

Erekat's comments contrasted with previous news reports over Palestinian intentions vis a vis negotiations.

On Tuesday, The Jerusalem Post learned from sources close to the issue that Palestinian refusal to return to the negotiating table even if a 90-day settlement freeze is in place was delaying the anticipated agreement between Israel and the US for a package of incentives in exchange for such a moratorium.

As a result, there is no formal document to date which sets out the terms of the incentive package which was hammered out last Thursday in a day long meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Netanyahu has insisted that only once he has such a document, will he bring the proposed 90-day building freeze extension to the 15-member security cabinet for approval.

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