Chief Palestinian Authority Negotiator: Peace Talks With Israel Have Failed, Pointless to Continue
by Gidon Ben-Zvi
Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, said on Monday that since peace talks with Israel have failed, it is pointless to continue negotiating for the duration of the nine- month agreed upon period, Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported.
Erekat claimed that since talks with Israel were renewed 33 Palestinian-Arabs have been killed and tenders for the construction of 5,989 housing units in disputed territories have been issued. Furthermore, according to Erekat, additional tenders to build 1,400 new housing units will shortly be approved. The head of the Palestinian Authority’s negotiating team also claimed that over the last four months, Israel has demolished 214 Palestinian-Arab homes, Ma’ariv reported.
As talks with Israel are at loggerheads, Erekat believes that the P.A. must now, “…turn to international organizations… that recognize the existence of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with its capital in Jerusalem,” Ma’ariv reported.
In his remarks, Erekat pointedly assigned blame for the failed peace talks squarely on Israel, Ma’ariv said.
In a related development, the Palestinian Authority has decided to hold its weekly meeting tomorrow in the Jordan Valley. Dr. Fawaz Akal, General Secretary of the Palestinian Authority, told the Ma’an News Agency that this move is a direct response to an Israeli bill which seeks to annex the area.
The location of the PA meeting will be in Ein Beida in the Jordan Valley and is meant to send a clear message that the area is within Palestinian territory, Akal told Ma’an.