Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, stated Friday that restoring the credibility of the peace process with Israel requires ending the Israeli occupation and halting all Israeli settlement activities. His statements came as he participated in a marathon in the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The marathon started from the Al Najah University; children aged 12-16 participated in the marathon, including children with special needs.

He said that “the time has come for the International Community to realize the real reasons behind the idleness of the peace process”.

Dr. Fayyad added that restoring the credibility of the peace process requires Israel to end its illegal occupation, including in East Jerusalem, and fulfilling all of its obligations.

He also said that this requires the Quartet committee to realize that Israel’s rejection to fulfill its obligations to the peace process and the Road Map Peace Plan are the causes behind the obstruction of peace talks.

“The peace process never advanced since 16 years”, the Prime Minister said, “The peace process cannot remain a hostage to Israel’s preconditions. Ending the occupation cannot be left for Israel to decide”.

“The Palestinians want to see a real peace process that guarantees their rights of independence”, he added, “The Palestinians want guarantees for an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital”.

Fayyad further stated that the International Community must act on ending the occupation and on implementing all relations UN and Security Council resolutions.

An essential part of the role of the International Community is to ensure Israel halts all of its settlement activities and to stop violating the international law.

As for the internal situation in Palestine, Fayyad stated that there is an essential need to end the internal divisions, and to achieve national unity.

He added that he hopes president Mahmoud Abbas would change his stance regarding not running for the upcoming presidential elections.

During his visit to Nablus, Fayyad visited an old church in the city and met with several church officials. He said that this church was built it 1859, and added that the steadfastness of the people in Nablus, preserved the church and other important sites in spite of repeated Israel aggressions.

He met with Father George Awwad of the Orthodox Church, head of the Al Najah University, Dr. Rami Al Hamdilliah, Nablus governor Dr. Taiseer Mhesin, and several other political and social figures.

Fayyad said that the steadfastness of the church in front of Israeli aggression and shelling is part of the steadfastness of the people and their determination to remain in their land.