Ahmed Saadat, the jailed Palestinian leader of the leftist People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said in an interview with Reuters news agency Wednesday that the only way to end the Israel-Palestine conflict is through a one-state solution with equal rights for Jews and Palestinians.In his answers to written questions submitted by Reuters through the Israeli prison authorities, Saadat said that a new round of negotiations with Israel will only deepen divisions between Palestinians, and will not resolve the problem.
US President Barack Obama has recently proposed a new round of talks, but many Palestinians remain skeptical, given the past ‘peace talks’ that resulted in further losses of their land and liberty.
‘Negotiations will be nothing but a cover for the continuation of an Israeli policy built on the continuation of occupation’, wrote Saadat in his statement, adding, ‘The continuation of negotiations, direct or indirect, will have consequences on the efforts to repair the Palestinian rift and achieve reconciliation.’
The unelected Palestinian government of Mahmoud Abbas of the Fateh party has voiced its support for a new round of negotiations with Israel, and the Arab League also issued a statement of support for a potential four months of talks. But Saadat pointed out that the Israelis have already violated the preconditions for such talks by continuing to construct illegal settlements on Palestinian land despite agreeing to a temporary ban on such construction.
Saadat is in prison in Israel after Israeli forces siezed him in 2006 from the Palestinian Authority prison in Jericho in a brutal and deadly raid. He was originally accused of involvement in the assassination of israeli tourism minister Rehavem Zeevi in 2001, but those charges were dropped due to a lack of evidence. However, Israeli authorities decided to issue Saadat a 30-year sentence, although the actual charges against him are unclear.
In his statement, Saadat said that US President Barack Obama is proposing the talks to make up for his ‘impotence’ at failing to make the significant change and ‘new beginning’ he promised in US relations with the Muslim world.
More and more Palestinian and Israeli leftists are turning to the one state solution as a potential end to the decades-old Israel-Palestine conflict. In the one-state solution, Palestinians and Israelis would have equal rights in a democratic state. Most Israeli Jews oppose the idea because it would make them equal with Palestinians, instead of retaining the privileged position they currently hold in Israel.