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PA Signals Israel: Freeze is Pointless

Despite Israeli construction freeze in Yesha, top PLO official tells EU there is no reason to resume talks in light of Israel’s intransigence, etc.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 12/3/2009, 2:07 PM

Though Israel has stopped all construction in Judea and Samaria, top PLO official Ahmed Qureia has told the European Union envoy to the Middle East that there is no reason to return to negotiating table, in light of Israel’s intransigence and rejection of international law.

The PA’s Maan news agency reports that former PA prime minister Qureia, who now heads the PA’s Jerusalem Affairs Department, told Christian Berger this week, “As a result of the ongoing violations and Israel's refusal to recognize the Palestinian people's right to self-determination, as well as its rebuffing of its commitments under the Road Map plan and under international law, returning to negotiations will be meaningless."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and other Israeli government leaders have emphasized that the controversial freeze is being implemented in order to persuade the PA to agree to resume negotiations with Israel.

Qureia, also known as Abu Ala, was discussing with Berger a Swedish proposal for the EU to declare eastern Jerusalem the capital of yet another Arab state - this one in the middle of the Jewish Biblical heartland.

The current EU president, Sweden, has drafted a proposal that is expected to be submitted to EU Foreign Ministers next week. The draft, which was leaked to the public on Tuesday, also implied that the EU would recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state.  The U.S. and other countries have warned the PA not to take such a step.

The report omitted any mention of the recent Israeli decision to stop all Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria.