Palestinians reject Netanyahu's peace talk conditions

Palestinians reject Netanyahu's peace talk conditions
Saeb Erekat has rejected Israel's conditions for the resumption of peace talks and stated that negotiations are meaningless unless based on the 1967 borders.
2 min read
10 June, 2015
Saeb Erekat believes talks are irrelevant unless Netanyahu ends the occupation [AFP]
Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has rejected Israel's conditions for the resumption of peace talks and expressed his displeasure over the UN's decision to keep Israel from appearing on the child rights blacklist.

Erekat's remarks came in response to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's statement during the annual Herzliya Conference near Tel Aviv on Tuesday, where he said he hoped Arab states could "press the Palestinians to return to talks" to reach a two-state solution.  

Netanyahu went on to blame the Palestinians for the impasse in negotiations.

But the Israeli leader's "push" for peace talks came just hours after his defence minister, Moshe Yaalon, said he did not see an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict "during my lifetime".

Netanyahu's conditions for talks - which include Palestinians recognising Israel, home to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, as a "Jewish state" - had been "formally rejected" after Erekat met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the chief negotiator told al-Araby.

Erekat said the political peace process would be irrelevant and meaningless unless Netanyahu ended the occupation.

He said that to go back to talks, Israel must hold negotiations based on the 1967 borders, adding that all construction in the settlements must be stopped and that the fourth stage of prisoner releases for Palestinians jailed before the Oslo Accords must be implemented. 

Erekat said that Netanyahu's reference to the two-state solution was more for publicity reasons, than a serious effort at political resolution.

Many Palestinian officials also voiced their criticism after the UN left Israel off a "list of shame" of children's rights violators.

At least 557 Palestinian children were killed and 4,249 were injured last year.

"The failure to list Israel as a violator of child rights, when it so clearly meets the criteria, will only further embolden such impunity, resulting in more suffering for innocent Palestinian children," said Palestinian representative Riyad Mansour.

The Palestinian foreign ministry called the decision "biased" stating that it "favours murderers" and "protects the criminals of the occupation".