Salaam Fayyad, prime minister of the American-backed Palestinian Authority, is expected to participate in the Herzliya Conference early next month alongside Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The Herzliya Conference convenes annually and is one of Israel’s premier national security and strategy summits.
“I have just been advised that Palestinian National Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will be participating in the ‘Prospects of Peace: The Israeli Palestinian Track’ plenary session alongside Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and conference head Danny Rothschild,” wrote Herzliya Conference spokesman Jeremy Ruden, who further emphasized that Fayyad would in fact be appearing in person.
Fayyad, a former economist for the International Monetary Fund, was handpicked by former United States President George W. Bush to serve as prime minister for the Fatah-led PA and is viewed by many in the region as an agent of Western interests in the Middle East.
In recent months Fayyad, has put forward a detailed plan for the creation of a new PA-run Arab state in Judea and Samaria, with a strong focus on building the institutions of statehood. He envisions a unilateral declaration of statehood within two years if Israel has not agreed by that time to surrender Judea, Samaria and most of Jerusalem to the PA. The plan enjoys support from several senior figures in the European Union and is compatible with the two-year timetable for final status negotiations recently laid out by Washington.
Fayyad, who insists that no ethnic Jews be permitted residence within the PA state he envisions, has demanded that Israel forcibly remove all Jews from Judea and Samaria.