PA: We don’t want goodwill gestures

Erekat says PA planning to present Quartet representatives with a “detailed report” about Israel’s settlement activities.

Saeb Erekat 311 (photo credit: Mati Milstein)
Saeb Erekat 311
(photo credit: Mati Milstein)
The Palestinian Authority is not seeking goodwill gestures from Israel, but wants it to abide by all agreements signed with the Palestinians, Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Monday.
He also demanded that the Quartet – the US, UN, EU and Russia – hold Israel fully responsible for the failure of the peace process.
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Commenting on claims that Israel should release Fatah prisoners and remove checkpoints as a way of strengthening the PA in wake of the prisoner swap with Hamas, Erekat said: “We don’t want goodwill gestures from anybody.
There are agreements and Israel should abide by them by stopping construction in the settlements, ending the [targeted] assassinations and removing the checkpoints and finding a timeline for withdrawing to the 1967 borders.”
Erekat repeated the charge that Israel was responsible for the current stalemate in the peace process by “preferring settlements over peace.”
Erekat expressed hope the Quartet would endorse the PA position and also blame Israel.
“The moment Israel declares a cessation of settlement construction and agrees to a timeline for withdrawing to the 1967 borders we will go back to the negotiations,” Erekat said.
He said PA officials have been meeting with Quartet representatives on a weekly basis “and they know our position very well.”
The PA is planning to present the Quartet representatives later this week with a “detailed report” about Israel’s settlement activities, he added.
Erekat also rejected Quartet envoy Tony Blair’s recent claim that the “Arab Spring” would have a negative impact on the Middle East peace process.
“It’s Israeli occupation that’s hindering peace and stability in the Middle East,” he said.