Qurei: Palestinians might demand citizenship

Top PA negotiator: If Israel refuses Palestinian state with '67 borders, Palestinians will demand IDs.

Qurei 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Qurei 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
"If Israel continues to reject our propositions regarding the borders [of a future Palestinian state], we might demand Israeli citizenship," top Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala) was quoted by Reuters as saying overnight Sunday. Speaking in a discussion with Fatah supporters in Ramallah, Qurei said the solution of two states for two peoples can only become a reality if Israel agrees to the Palestinians' demands and withdraws from the territory they claim as their own. A Palestinian source estimated that Qurei's comments reflected his pessimism regarding the sides' ability to reach an agreement on borders in the foreseeable future. "The Palestinian leadership has worked to establish an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 [pre-Six Day War] borders, but if Israel continues to resist making this a reality - then the Palestinians' demand for the sake of the Palestinian people will be a solution of one state for both nationalities," Qurei told his listeners. Last week, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem. During the meeting, Olmert pledged to release an undisclosed number of Palestinian prisoners as a gesture of goodwill towards Abbas. The two leaders met after Olmert announced he did not intend to run in the Kadima primary. Despite Olmert's planned departure, the sides have expressed interest in continuing negotiations in order to draft a "shelf agreement" by the end of 2008, as both sides agreed to do during the Annapolis peace conference in 2007.