Daily Israel Report

PA Says "No!" Once Again

Responding to reports that Israel is considering a temporary solution in light of PA refusal to negotiate, PLO official says no to all such ideas.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 3/3/2011, 4:03 PM / Last Update: 3/3/2011, 3:55 PM

EDK Communications

 

In response to reports that Israel is considering a temporary long-term solution in light of the Palestinian Authority's refusal to negotiate with Israel, a PLO official says "No" to all such ideas.

Saleh Raafat, a member of the PLO executive committee, told the PA's official radio station on Wednesday that “the position of the PLO toward this issue is unchangeable. We have strictly rejected all Israeli and non-Israeli offers that call on the establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders. The PLO has also affirmed its refusal of all interim and partial solutions.”

This, in light of media reports that Israel’s government is considering some type of temporary solution – possibly a PLO state with temporary borders – in the absence of negotiations with the PLO.

The Palestinian Authority, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, has refused to negotiate directly with Israel for a number of years. The only exception was a brief period in September 2010 just before the end of Israel’s 10-month freeze on construction – a freeze that Israel self-imposed as an incentive precisely in order to entice the PA to enter into talks.

Despite this, it is Israel that is largely perceived around the world as being to blame for the lack of negotiations - and, according to many media reports, is what has led Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to consider a temporary, long-term solution that will not involve detailed negotiations.  

“With the Middle East in turmoil and the West eager to encourage moderate forces in the region,” The New York Times reported, “Israel is under pressure to show some movement on the Palestinian issue” – just two sentences after, “The Palestinians have declined to resume talks unless settlement activity is halted.”

AFP reported, “Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu is considering pushing for a long-term interim agreement with the Palestinians in the absence of any moves to renew peace talks, press reports said on Wednesday...” Only nine paragraphs later did the AFP report explain that the “Palestinians have refused all direct contact with the Israelis” ever since the construction ban expired last year.

CNN, on the other hand, provided a slightly different tilt. It quoted an Israeli official as attributing Netanyahu’s latest attempt to “the latest instability in the region, including the departure of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak.” The official added, "Of course, Israel would prefer a final status peace agreement, but that has become all but impossible because of the Palestinian refusal to negotiate.”