Salam Fayyad, the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority led by the Fateh party, met on Friday with Robert Gates, the US Secretary of State, who was visiting Ramallah after a visit with the Israeli Prime Minister earlier on Friday.During the meeting, the Palestinian Prime Minister set a deadline of September for the implementation of a plan laid out two years ago that would establish a provisional Palestinian state, and begin a pull-out of Israeli troops and settlers from the occupied Palestinian Territories.
The Palestinian Mission in the US issued a statement saying, “The recent cycle of violence in the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem indicates the urgent need to end the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian people.”
The Mission, which represents the Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO, the predecessor of the Palestinian Authority, urged US President Barack Obama to unequivocally condemn violence by both Palestinians and Israelis.
The US President recently made statements condemning the murder of a settler family in Itamar settlement, allegedly by a Palestinian; the firing of homemade shells by Palestinian resistance fighters that lightly injured two Israelis, and a bomb in Jerusalem allegedly planted by a Palestinian that killed one Israeli woman. But Obama did not mention the killing of eight Palestinians, including three children, by an Israeli missile, which also took place over the last week.
Salam Fayyad told the US Defense Secretary in their meeting that the Israeli incursions, which occur on a daily basis into Palestinian villages and cities, and the continual confiscation of Palestinian land for Israel’s colonial settlement expansion, both hinder peace efforts and make negotiation impossible.