PA may abandon statehood drive if ’67 lines accepted

Palestinians wait to see how Washington, Europe, Russia respond to Netanyahu’s recent US statements.

Palestinian Flag 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Flag 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority may abandon plans to ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state in September if Israel agrees to halt construction in the settlements for three months, and accepts the 1967 lines as the basis for a future solution, PLO official Hana Ameereh said on Sunday.
Ameereh’s statement contradicts remarks by other PA officials who said that the PA would go ahead with plans to seek recognition of a state in September, in spite of US President Barack Obama’s opposition to such a move.
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Ameereh, who is a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said that the PA’s position toward the issue of settlement construction and the 1967 lines remained unchanged.
“Our position is clear,” he said. “There should be a complete cessation of settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. We also insist that Israel abide by international resolutions when the peace talks resume.”
Ameereh added that Israel’s response to Obama’s Middle East address last week showed that it was not interested in a real peace process.
“Either there’s a Palestinian state through the UN Security Council, or Israel should abide by all international resolutions and give the Palestinians their rights,” he emphasized. “The decision to go to the UN is not a tactical one, but so that the Palestinians could get all their rights and establish their state on all the territories that were occupied in 1967.”
PLO and Fatah officials are scheduled to hold an emergency meeting in Ramallah on Wednesday to discuss Obama’s speech, a source in the PA leadership said.
Former PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas has requested an urgent meeting of the Arab League foreign ministers to discuss the repercussions of Obama’s speech at the US State Department last Thursday.
Erekat said that Abbas was hoping that the Arab countries would endorse a united stance toward Obama’s address.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby and Abbas agreed during a phone conversation on Sunday that the Arab League meeting would take place on May 28.
Abbas, who held talks in Amman with Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit on the Obama speech, also phoned Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss the issue.
Erekat said that the most significant and basic element in the speech was Obama’s reference to the two-state solution on the basis of the pre-June 4, 1967, lines, with mutual land swaps.
Erekat said that the Palestinians were now waiting to see how the Americans, Europeans and Russians would respond to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s refusal to withdraw to the 1967 lines.