PLO official: Palestinians 'seriously considering' declaring failure of peace talks

Hanna Amireh accuses Israel of seeking to "win time" and blame the Palestinians for the failure of the US-sponsored talks.

October 9, 2013 18:38
1 minute read.
Israeli, Palestinian delegations meet in Washington for iftar dinner, July 29, 2013.

Israelis, Palestinians meeting for resumption of talks 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

The Palestinians are seriously considering declaring the failure of the peace talks with Israel, a senior PLO official said Wednesday.

Hanna Amireh, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said that this was one of the scenarios that were discussed during the last meeting of the Palestinian leadership.

Amireh accused Israel of seeking to “win time” and blame the Palestinians for the failure of the US-sponsored talks.

Israel, he said, is benefiting from the prolonged negotiations in order to “impose more facts on the ground and dictate the outcome of the talks.”

Amireh criticized Justice Minister Tzipi Livni for stating that the talks with the Palestinians may extend beyond the nine- month deadline set by the US Administration.

He said that Livini’s remarks were in violation of the agreement reached with the Americans.

The PLO official also criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize the Jewishness of Israel.

“All the previous sessions of negotiations have nor produced anything,” he said. “We are now seriously discussing the nature of our steps in the aftermath of the collapse of the negotiations.”

Amireh pointed out that one of the options facing the Palestinians calls for seeking full membership of the United Nations and its agencies.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators on Monday met in Jerusalem for the ninth time since restarting talks in July.

Israeli officials, respecting the “gag order” US Secretary of State John Kerry has effectively clamped on the talks, refused to comment on Monday’s talks.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who met Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Tuesday, also did not refer directly during the meeting to Monday’s discussions, and sufficed to brief him generally on the negotiations, adding that she was “cautiously optimistic.”

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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