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August 1, 2013 7:20 pm

Israel – Palestinian Authority Negotiations ‘Dangerous,’ Palestinian NGOs Say

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat address reporters on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations at the U.S. Department of State. Photo: State Department. A group of 133 Palestinian NGOs based in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria, and Jerusalem said in a statement Wednesday that renewing Israeli-Palestinian conflict talks would be “dangerous” after a three-year hiatus.

The Palestinian NGO Network believes renewed negotiations are unwise because Israel has refused to return to its pre-1967 lines, freeze construction in Judea and Samaria, and release Palestinian terrorists incarcerated in Israel jails. The Israeli cabinet, however, agreed on Sunday to free 104 Palestinian terrorists imprisoned before the 1993 Oslo Accords as a goodwill gesture for the start of negotiations.

“Negotiations act as a cover for Israel’s expansionist and racist policies in a blatant exploitation of the so-called political process, in order to dispel the goals of the national Palestinian struggle,” the Palestinian NGO Network statement said, according to Middle East Monitor.

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Prof. Gerald Steinberg, who heads Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, that the Palestinian NGO Network’s “blunt attack against the resumption of negotiations has again highlighted the contrast between the rhetoric of peace and the immoral demonization, BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) and lawfare campaigns that continue the rejectionist agenda of the Arab leaders from November 29 1947 until today.”

“While the EU and member states proclaim their support for peace, they give tens of million of Euros to the member organizations of the anti-Israel and anti-peace Palestinian NGO Network,” Steinberg said.

As peace talks in Washington, DC resumed, rocket fire has also resumed from Gaza into southern Israel, with the latest rocket reported to have been launched on Tuesday. An air-raid rocket siren was also activated in the Golan Heights on Thursday, though no confirmation of a missile launch has yet been announced.

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