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Erekat: UN bid aims to preserve two-state solution
Published Thursday 08/11/2012 (updated) 09/11/2012 00:12
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JERICHO (Ma'an) -- Israel's settlement policy is threatening the two-state solution, not the PLO's bid to upgrade Palestine's status at the UN, PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said Thursday.

Erekat said Palestine's request for non-member statehood of the UN did not contradict the two-state solution, in separate meetings with Quartet envoy Tony Blair, US consul Michael Ratney and French consul Frédéric Desagneaux.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned President Mahmoud Abbas against making any unilateral moves which could "push peace back," referring to the upcoming UN bid.

Abbas has countered that Israel's illegal settlement construction in the West Bank is "unilateral."

Erekat said Israel had chosen US election day to announce the construction of 1,213 homes on annexed West Bank land.

Israel anti-settlement group Peace Now said the decision to announce the new settlement homes on election day was deliberate.

"It seems that Netanyahu is afraid of the new administration that is being elected today in the US, and he has chosen the day of election to publish the tenders so that there will be the least public attention to his action," Peace Now said.

Erekat told the international envoys that Israel's settlement building violates the principle of two states, international law and signed agreements.

He said efforts should focus on ending settlement building on occupied Palestinian land, rather than the PLO's UN bid which he said aimed to preserve the two-state solution.

The PLO executive committee member said he hoped US President Barack Obama would work to achieve the two-state solution during his second term in office.

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Wednesday that Washington would continue to work "very vigorously" on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The US works very closely with Blair in his role as UN envoy to the peace process, Nuland said, adding that their goals were "identical."

"We want to see these parties get to the negotiating table and we will continue to work to facilitate that," she said, declining to elaborate on whether Obama would launch any new initiatives.

On Wednesday, Blair declined to endorse or condemn the PLO's UN initiative, but warned against hasty reactions.

"We have to understand the position the Palestinians find themselves in. It is all about the credibility of the steps towards statehood. It is very much in our interests to offer them a way forward that allows us one way or another to get back to the negotiating table," Blair said in an interview with Reuters.
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1 ) CORRECTION: 3 STATES / GAZA DESERVES HER OWN
08/11/2012 14:26
UN STATUS

and she will get it

there will be THREE STATES!!


2 ) Foolish / \ Lies
08/11/2012 15:12
1- Abbas is right that "settlement construction in the West Bank is unilateral," but it's slow & gradual, while Israel waits for negotiations, and
2- the Palestinian's UN bid for non-member UN statehood is clearly and immediately unilateral, rather than slow and gradual, so
3- Erekat and the PA leaders are either fools or liars, to think that their
"UN bid aims to preserve two-state solution," and
4- Their foolish lies will destroy the Area A/B Palestine that exists now !!!!

3 ) Charlie / USA
08/11/2012 15:21
Take that UN Bid and shove it.

4 ) @ Charlie-3 / USA too
08/11/2012 21:05
THE UN BID WILL BE THE BEST THING FOR ISRAEL, since:
1- four million Palestinians will be citizens of a state of Palestine,
and NOT occupied in Israel, while
2- Israel retains (& likely annexes later) the disputed Area C region, which provides the secure & defensible borders to which Israel is entitled, and
3- Palestine wishes they could "shove" it's UN Bid out of sight,
after it realizes all the financial support it loses as a result !!!

5 ) gabi / austrqalia
09/11/2012 02:02
#2 - "slow and gradual"!!! The growth of th settlemetns far exceeds the growth in the Israeli population. Israel claims they need the settlements to grow because of natural growth of the population - which is a blatant lie. And "while Israel waits for negotiations?" Why negotiate with a govt which has the Likud charter at its centre? It says no Palestinian state, so what is there to negotiate? You talk BS. And btw Israel has destroyed its own world-wide reputation, but doesn't seem to care!

6 ) @ Gabi-5 / USA
09/11/2012 16:13
You should BLAME THE PLO for Israel having "a govt which has the Likud charter at its centre," since after the PLO's signing of the Oslo Accords:
- the PLO police took part in the 2nd Intifada,
- the PLO's Al Aksa Brigade still engages in terror,
- the PLO still incites terror & honors terrorists, and
- the PLO lost control of Gaza to Hamas, so that even if the PLO had the
will to fight terror as promised (which seems unlikely given the above),
it NO longer has the ability !!!!

7 ) @ Gabi-5 / USA (cont.)
09/11/2012 16:50
Palestinian land-grab settlement attempts are even less "slow and gradual" in the disputed Area C lands, for which Palestinians promised to negotiate, and Palestinian construction there, without building permits or even proof of owner ownership, also "far exceeds the growth in the Palestinian population.

8 ) gabi / austalia
10/11/2012 02:26
#7 - "without proof of ownership" ??? If you read anything at all about the Palestinian situation before 1948 you will know that in smaller villages or even some town everyone knew who owned what land, for generations back. And where there were record Israelis were very quick to destroy them to show that the land was "abandoned" or "unoccupied" land. Research "Israel and abandoned lands acts" and see how they did it - and applaud their cleverness! Building permits? - they NEVER get them.
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