Chief Palestinian Negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat, stated on Thursday evening that the current peace talk, held between Israel and the Palestinians behind closed doors, are not leading to any positive outcome, and that the Israeli government is foiling any chances for a peace deal.Israeli Maariv has reported that Erekat commented on a report by Israel’s Peace Now Movement regarding the escalation of Israeli settlement construction and expansion activities in occupied Palestine, and said that “Israel is sabotaging the entire peace process”, and that Israel’s settlement activities “will lead to halting and ending peace talks”.
According to Maariv, Erekat said that “Israel is busy building and expanding settlement, instead of being busy in building peace”.
The Palestinian official further stated that decision makers in Tel Aviv are responsible for the current situation, and that their policies will eventually lead to the collapse of the entire peace process.
Visiting Italy, Nabil Rodeina, Political Advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas, stated that the Palestinian Authority will not allow any presence of the Israeli military in the Palestinian territory, and that the only solution to the conflict is “establishing an independent Palestinian State on the 1967 border, with East Jerusalem as its capital”.
The Palestinian statements came despite a commitment made by Israeli and Palestinian leaders to the American Mediator, Secretary of State John Kerry, in which they agreed not to make any statements to the media regarding what is happening in political doors, held behind closed doors.
Palestinian sources said that Erekat decided to “come out of silence” due to frustration resulting from ongoing Israeli violations, including its ongoing settlement construction and expansion activities.
It is worth mentioning that Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, met on Thursday with the Pope in the Vatican, and said that he hopes a peace agreement will be signed soon between Israel and the Palestinians.