Palestinian negotiators met with US Secretary of State John Kerry for over two hours of ‘constructive’ talks concerning future relations with Israel, said a US official.Media sources said, it was Kerry’s first face-to-face talks with Palestinian negotiators since Washington’s failure to secure a truce between Israeli and Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip, in July.
Of the recent talks, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: ‘It was a constructive conversation that covered a range of issues, including Gaza, Israeli-Palestinian relations, and recent developments in the region.’ She further stated that the group has agreed to talk again, in coming weeks.
Senior PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat submitted a proposal for ending the ongoing Israeli occupation and establishing Palestinian state. The proposal was said to include a timetable for withdrawal of Israeli military forces.
The PLO now intends to seek a UN Security Council resolution which would set a three-year deadline for the end of the occupation, Ma’an reports.
However, the resolution will likely be vetoed by the US, which has a long history of opposing unilateral moves by Palestinians seeking statehood.
In related news, head of Hamas political bureau Khaled Mashal says that the Gaza Strip will not return to the siege or be internationally isolated again.
Mashal said, in an interview with the Al-Araby al-Jadeed website: “The 1.8 million Gazans should live as all human beings, enjoying their national rights to travel by land, sea, or air. Gaza is part of the Palestinian homeland and is the coastal city of the West Bank…
“A number of demands were already established in the Cairo cease-fire agreement and others postponed to be negotiated within a month. We will continue our struggle until our people get what they want.”
Al Ray reports that Mashal recognized the toughness of the ‘negotiation struggle’ forthcoming. “There will be a hard struggle where those ‘of will’ will come out victorious,” he said.
“Egypt is the patron of the cease-fire agreement; thereby it has the obligation to guarantee the implementation of it,” he added.
“Lifting the siege is now a top priority for the region and the world; the Palestinian people has faith in resistance and unity, which will help bring an end to the siege.”