Fayad: We reject Mickey Mouse state

Fatah accepts reconcilia

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayad on Wednesday called the demilitarized Palestinian state envisioned by Israel "a Mickey Mouse state," and said the Palestinian people would not accept such a plan. "By all indications, [Israeli officials] have a Mickey Mouse state in mind" Reuters quoted Fayad as saying in a press conference in Ramallah. Fayad reportedly stressed the Palestinians would not readily accept Israel's ideas concerning their future state. "This is not about politics," Fayad reportedly said. "This is about physics. Israel is in control." According to Israel Radio, Fayad went on to state that while PA officials saw the Jordan Valley as an inseparable part of the future Palestinian state, Israel might be seeking to occupy the disputed territory permanently, jeopardizing peace negotiations. Fayad was not the first PA official to suggest that Israel's refusal to freeze settlement construction had essentially frozen the peace process. Ahead of the tripartite meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama in September, PA President Mahmoud Abbas cited the issue as a precondition for resuming peace talks. In related news, earlier Wednesday, Fatah accepted Cairo's proposal for reconciliation with Hamas, and senior party official Azam Al-Ahmad was set to hand over the signed document to the Egyptians. Nevertheless, a Hamas official said that his group was still holding consultations on the matter, and denied a report by the Palestinian Ma'an news agency that the organization had already accepted the proposal. Cairo has requested that each side sign the proposal by Thursday, and that an official ceremony on the deal be held at a later date. Fatah has threatened to unilaterally declare elections at the start of next year if Hamas refuses to sign the deal. The United States reiterated on Tuesday that all Quartet demands must remain in place for dealing with any Palestinian national unity government that might be formed, amid reports the sides had reached some level of understanding. The Quartet of the US, EU, UN and Russia have demanded that Hamas renounce violence, recognize Israel and respect past agreements, moves that are anathema to the Islamist group The US also said its commitment to the Palestinians "remains strong," as did its objections to Israeli settlement activity, following the publication of a Fatah memo saying hope in US President Barack Obama had been lost. Hilary Leila Krieger contributed to this report