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Erekat Slams Netanyahu: Not a Partner in Peace

PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat slammed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu saying "Netanyahu is not a partner in peace."
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 9/20/2011, 9:51 PM

Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat slammed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday saying he was not a partner in peace.

"As far as Mr. Netanyahu is concerned I can answer him with six words: "Netanyahu is not a partner in peace," Erakat told Al Jazeera while meeting with Arab League envoys in Doha. 

"Without the Israelis accepting President Obama's vision of two states along the 1967-lines, it would be a waste of time to talk about peace or process," Erekat insisted

"We want to hear this position accepted by any israeli government before we agree to talk." Erekat said when asked what Israel would have to do to restart talks.

Erekat did not address PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas' additional preconditions for peace talks, which include Israel jettisoning its identity as a Jewish state, releasing all terrorists with blood on their hands, and freezing construction in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria for a second time.

Nor did Erekat see fit to concede Netanyahu had created ire among nationalists in his own party by agreeing, in principle, to discuss a two-state solution based on the 1967-lines with agreed upon land swaps keeping only the 'settlement blocs.'

Instead Erekat, who kept looking up from the camera, apparently at flash cards, kept hammering his talking his points saying, "The Israeli government is not a partner for peace."

"Our focus is, if the Israel government continues its fait accompli policies, settlement activities, rejecting the President of the United States' vision of the two states of 1967... then we have had it. We are going to the Security Council to have Palestine admitted as a full member on the 1967 lines. This is not to isolate Israel! This is to end the occupation!"

But just one short month ago Erekat openly told reporters in Ramallah "efforts to isolate Israel will be accelerated."

Erekat avoided answering whether US President Barack Obama, who he repeatedly invoked as the author of the 1967-lines formula, was a partner for peace in light of his open opposition of the PA statehood bid.

"I am a Palestinian and I speak only the language of interests," Erekat said. "Without drying the swamp of Israeli occupation of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital democracy will not work... stability will not work."

On Tuesday, Palestinian Monetary Authority governor Jihad al-Wazir said he is concerned the PA will not be able to pay its salaries next month, adding a cessation of US aid could lead to the PA's collapse.

PLO officials have repeatedly said in recent weeks the US is threatening cut aid - and perhaps all ties - if they insist on seeking recognition in the Security Council.