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Friday, November 01, 2013

Deja vu all over again

With US Secretary of State John Kerry due in the region, reports indicate that 'Palestinian' negotiators bottle washers Saeb Erekat and Mohammed Shtayyeh have resigned.
According to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency, Erekat sent PA President Mahmoud Abbas a letter in which he cited Israel’s lack of commitment to the peace process and continued construction beyond the Green Line as the reasons for his resignation.
The report was published as the PLO’s Executive Committee was convening in Ramallah for a session chaired by Abbas.
Top PLO official Wassel Abu Yousef, however, denied the reports of Erekat’s quitting.
At the end of the meeting, he said the subject of Erekat’s resigning was not even discussed during the committee’s session.
Israeli officials said the US and Palestinians knew at the outset of the talks in July that Israel would announce settlement construction plans around the time of each of the four promised prisoner releases in order to deflate criticism of the releases from the right wing.
The Palestinians are equally aware that the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem beyond the pre-1967 lines, as well as the settlement blocs, will remain part of Israel under any agreement, as was indicated by the Palestinian minutes released two years ago by Al Jazeera in what was known as the Palileaks, the officials said.
Nevertheless, the Palestinian Authority announced on Thursday it was “seriously studying” filing an immediate complaint against Israel with international courts and forums in a bid to halt construction in West Bank settlements and east Jerusalem.
The PA Foreign Ministry said the complaint would be designed to “preserve peace and the negotiations” with Israel. The PA was seeking a condemnation of Israel for violating international law, the ministry said. It called on the international community, especially the US and UN, to do more than issue denunciations of Israel.
“Israel is seeking to destroy the two-state solution and undermine any effort to ensure the success of the peace negotiations,” the ministry said. “We call on the international community to take action and measures to put a decisive end to settlement and relate to it as a war crime.”
The PA called on Arabs and Muslims to take immediate action to stop the expansion of settlements in order to safeguard the two-state solution.
PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said the recent decision to build housing was the “latest humiliation” of Kerry and the efforts of the US administration to revive the peace process.
 'Peace' is at hand.... /sarc

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