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Erekat: Israel has prioritized settlements over peace
Published Sunday 23/03/2014 (updated) 26/03/2014 16:21
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(MaanImages/File)
JERICHO (Ma'an) -- Recent Israeli actions against the Palestinian people indicate that Israel has given priority to settlement expansion and the demands of settlers over peace and negotiations, a top PLO negotiator said Sunday.

Member of the PLO Executive Committee Saeb Erekat made his remarks during separate meetings with Luxembourg's foreign minister Jean Asselborn, UN envoy Robert Serry and US peace envoy Martin Indyk.

Erekat's remarks come only a day after Israeli forces three Palestinians during a raid on Jenin refugee camp and news that Israel had approved more than 2,000 new homes in six different Jewish settlements across the West Bank.

Erekat said that these practices, as well as the repeated raids on the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and the tightening of restrictions against Palestinian worshipers, constitute a "systemic" effort to foil US and international efforts to implement a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders.

On Thursday, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry said in a statement that he was "gravely concerned" by Israel's new settlement plans.

He added: "Settlements are illegal under international law and cannot be reconciled with Israel's stated intention to pursue a two-state solution."

"This development is particularly unhelpful against the backdrop of a volatile situation on the ground and as US-led peace negotiations have reached a critical stage," he said.

Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians were relaunched in July under the auspices of the US after nearly three years of impasse.

Israel's government has announced the construction of thousands of settler housing units and its army has killed 60 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza since the talks began.
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1 ) Rami / Palesitne
23/03/2014 15:22
Has it? Has it really? You mean just now it has? I thought it has always prioritized settlements over peace. That's been their objective since day 1.

2 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
23/03/2014 16:48
Erekat is a known liar. From his big fib about "500 Palestinians massacred in Jenin" to calling himself the descendent of Caananites even though everybody knows he's a Bedouin whose family came from Saudi Arabia. Erekat is one of the problems with the peace process. Sure he speaks English, but with a forked tongue. The Palestinians should fire him and get somebody with some credibility.

3 ) Mitri I. Musleh / Canada
23/03/2014 17:23
The US and its allies are up in arms condemning the Russian’s take over Cremia even though that was the wish of the people living there. The irony is, Israel has been doing the same thing in Palestine, without the wish of the people and yet, not one world government has the courage to be up in arms against Israel.

4 ) Mel / USA
23/03/2014 17:40
"Peace talks between Israelis...relaunched...under...the US(G)after...impasse."?Oh please Saeb,you KNOW full well that Zionism NEVER sought real peace for MILLIONS of your people.Just the WHOLE PIECE of your pluralistic land,over the bodies of ALL Arabs & their ancient&BEAUTIFUL rural villages &inclusive,WELCOMING,culture.Stop churning out Zionist hasbara re:"peace"&USG goal for LEGAL justice for pluralistic Palestine! Mutual"peace"is Zio-code for UNILATERAL expansion & Nazi"transfer".USG-aided!

5 ) Outlier / USA
23/03/2014 17:45
I say again, intemperate comments by either side are not helpful during peace negotiations. Erekat should shut up.

6 ) @ Erekat / Israel
23/03/2014 18:56
"Palestine has prioritized resistance (murder & terror) over statehood", so futile, impoverished, resistance, as an "authority" is Palestine future.

7 ) Mel / USA
23/03/2014 21:29
#5:"intemperate" during "peace" negotiations",LOL! You're assuming that Israel's militarist occupation/collective punishment is not"intemperate"& that radical Zionists like hasbara-Harry-Bibi ever wanted mutual "peace".Why d'you think Nutty &his mafia talk of "peace"?Because they know D.C.allows Jews-only apartheid colonies to continue.But,Palestine doesn't STAND ALONE any more.It has UNGA majority & MORE global people on its side,than ever B4.Bibi's violent Zionism'S GOING DOWN,like Nazism did!

8 ) JoeUSA / USA
23/03/2014 22:17
Outlier you should rename yourself" in lier".

9 ) @ Mitri-3 / Same & Different
24/03/2014 00:28
- Plenty of "world governments are already up in arms against Israel", Iran, and Russia, but it will change nothing, and - The "wish of the people living in the Crimea" does not include taking half of the Ukraine, and the heart of Ukraine's capital, like the people living in Gaza and Areas A/B wish to take from Israel. If Only these Areas, With Peace, were all they demand, Israel would agree to creating Palestine soon. But, Palestinian demand what was never theirs, and also without peace !!

10 ) @ Outlier-5 / USA too
24/03/2014 03:38
There are only talks about "peace negotiations", but there are NO "peace negotiations" now, this week, or even this month, and should the two sides ever sit at the same table, they will Not agree on anything more important than what to eat, so -1- "Erekat should Speak up", and -2- World Leaders should ignore both him and other PA leaders, and they should stop funding the proven, 20 year, failed PA experiment too !!

11 ) Lynx / Palestine
24/03/2014 05:00
Just resign then...for what..the 90th time? You and your ilk have built and based your whole career on the Oslo process which has proved to be a hoax. 2 States has always been a lie. Bad Ass Abbas own son admits 2 states have been a lie. A lucrative lie for you and your PA whose central function is to shield the occupation and the settlers.

12 ) Outlier / USA
25/03/2014 23:09
8., Joe USA, if this is and insult, I don't get it. 5., Mel, peace negotiations require quiet and focus - which these comments, distractions and sideshows do not provide. BTW, you cannot possibly know what others know, think or want, so your comments end up being so much "blah, blah, blah." Also, your name calling is tiresome. Find a new approach.
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