Abed Rabbo: Israel is building a settler state

PLO secretary-general says West Bank building's goal is a "state for settlers," denies possibility of renewed talks.

Itamar settlement hilltop 311 R (photo credit: Abed Omar Qusini / Reuters)
Itamar settlement hilltop 311 R
(photo credit: Abed Omar Qusini / Reuters)
Israel is working toward establishing a state for Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Jerusalem instead of a Palestinian state, PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo claimed on Saturday.
He said that there would be no negotiations with Israel in the near future due to the wide gap between the sides.
Abed Rabbo also denied that the PA was planning to relay a message to Israel via Jordan, detailing the Palestinians’ conditions for resuming direct peace talks.
The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV channel reported over the weekend that Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh was slated to deliver the Palestinian message to Israel after bringing it to the attention of the Americans.
“There is no such message and we haven’t handed one to anyone,” Abed Rabbo told the PA’s Voice of Palestine radio station. “These reports are nothing but speculations and assessments.”
Abed Rabbo said that Israel was continuing to build in settlements “so that it could establish a state for settlers, and not for Palestinians, in the West Bank and Jerusalem.”
Israel wants to prepare a new map for the Palestinian territories in order to impose it on the Palestinians and the world, he added.
“This, at a time when the Palestinians are seeking a negotiated solution on the basis of international legitimacy,” Abed Rabbo said, ruling out the possibility that the peace talks would resume in the near future.
Israel, he charged, does not want to launch a serious peace process. Rather, it wants contact with the Palestinians, he said.
Abed Rabbo said that Israel also does not want to see an end to the split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
He claimed that Israel was pushing toward placing the Gaza Strip under Egyptian control.
The PLO official blamed differences within Hamas for the failure of the recent Qatari-brokered reconciliation agreement between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.
Ahmed Assaf, a Fatah spokesman in the West Bank, said on Saturday that the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip has rejected the Qatari-engineered deal “because they want to preserve their privileges and illegitimate jobs.”