Chief Palestinian Negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat, stated that calls made by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, asking Abbas to resume direct peace talks with Tel Aviv are illusive and aimed at holding the Palestinians responsible for the failure of U.S. efforts to resume direct talks. Erekat, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), said that Netanyahu keeps talking about “peace talks without preconditions”, as part of his policy that aims at holding the Palestinians responsible for failure of talks.

His statements came during a meeting with UN Secretary Envoy, Robert Serry, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority.

Erekat said that Netanyahu must declare his acceptance to the two-state solution, stop all settlement activities and release the political prisoners, especially those held since before the end of 1994.

“Those are Israeli commitments, they are the road to resuming peace talks”, the official said, “Israel is avoiding its obligations, ongoing with its violations, demolishing homes, displacing the people and creating facts on the ground”.

He further stated that Netanyahu and his government are trying to resume talks on Israeli terms, and that Israel “chose dictation and not negotiation”.

Erekat also held separate meetings with Junya Matsuura, head of the Japanese Representative Office to Palestine, and Italian Consul General, Italian Consul David La Senza.