Secretary-General of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Yasser Abed Rabbo, stated that the Palestinian leadership rejects the proposed agreement presented by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.Abed Rabbo said that what Kerry is proposing is a Palestinian state that has no capital, no borders, and that he is trying to get the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
He added that Kerry agrees with the Israeli conditions that reject any eviction of settlement blocks, and many settlements, is adopting the Israeli stance that rejects any Palestinian control over borders, and is suggesting a “state” with no sovereignty.
In a press conference with political leaders of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Abed-Rabbo said that the proposed agreement also demands the Palestinians to accept and recognize Israel’s illegitimate settlements, mainly its settlement blocs, built in direct violation of international law.
“The peace process is hitting large walls, walls of Israel’s illegitimate settlements, Israel’s rejection to recognize our internationally guaranteed rights. Tel Aviv is just placing more obstacles and preconditions”, he said. “Israel wants to build a Wall in the Jordan Valley, similar to its apartheid wall west of the West Bank, so that it can keep its illegal settlements and military bases”.
Abed-Rabbo further stated that even the American mediator does not know the exact size of Israel’s settlements, especially since Israel keeps expanding them through its illegal confiscation and theft of Palestinian lands.
“By demanding us to recognize it as a Jewish state, Tel Aviv is demanding us to drop our legitimate, historic rights, Kerry is demanding us to adopt Israel’s version”, the official said. “Jerusalem will face the same fate, what kind of a state they are talking about? A state with no borders, no capital…”.
He further stated that the Executive Committee of the PLO has granted a green light to the Political Committee to resume its efforts to join more international organizations, including UN institutions.
“The Palestinians must join international organizations”, Abed-Rabbo added. “We need to search for an international mediator for peace talks, the U.S. has failed, and is just adopting Israel’s demands and preconditions”.
Furthermore, a senior Palestinian official, told the Xinhua Chinese News Agency that the Palestinian leadership would resume its international activities in April, once the nine months of direct talks under American mediation expire.
Member of the PLO Executive Committee, Taiseer Khaled, said that the United States and Israel have two main coherent positions rejecting the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees, and demanding the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
“They want us to drop the legitimate rights of the displaced Palestinians, they are proposing settling the refugees in countries they live in, or in a different state”, Khaled said. “Israel does not admit to its responsibility for displacing the refugees, it does not recognize their rights, and wants the international community to deal with them”.
The official said that what Kerry is asking the Palestinians now is partially based on proposals by former U.S president, Bill Clinton, who suggested the return of some externally displaced refugees to the Palestinian territories, and not back to their lands in historic Palestine.
Kerry also wants other countries, especially Arab states, to provide residency rights to the refugees.