PLO: Peace Process 'Near Its Demise'

A senior PLO official says the peace process is failing because Israel has made demands about security assurances the PLO won't meet.

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Gabe Kahn.,

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi
PLO official Hanan Ashrawi
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Palestinian Liberation Organization executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi on Tuesday said the so-called two-state solution is "near its demise."

Ashrawi told reporters at a press conference that Israel's response to PLO proposals on borders and security arrangements did not show "any indication of good intentions at all."

According to Ashrawi, the Israeli response included 21 points that should be dealt with before negotiations are resumed.

"There is no room at all for good intention in the Israeli proposals," she said.

Ashrawi declined to reveal the proposals included in the response. "[They are] security demands from the Israeli perspective," she said.

Last month PLO executive committee member Tayseer Khalid said ""We refuse to be security agents for Israel. This is neither the role of the PLO nor the Palestinian National Authority at all."

Israel maintains it is ready to negotiate without preconditions from either side at any time - and note security garauntees are hard-coded into the 1993 Oslo Accords.

Officials in Jerusalem say the PLO "proposals" at the most recent round of exploratory talks amounted to little more than their already stated preconditions for talks.

Those preconditions, Israeli officials say, are intentionally designed to serve as a fait accompli to forestall talks with Israel while allowing PLO officials to blame Israel for the lack of progress in the now moribund peace process.

PLO officials are demanding Israel agree to the pre-1967 lines, release all Arab terrorists in its prisons, and freeze construction in Judea and Samaria before talks can begin.

Israeli officials, however, note that a previous 10-month freeze by Israel was rebuffed by the PLO and met with more preconditions and a unilateral bid for statehood by the Palestinian Authority at the United Nations.

In December PLO officials announced "a strategy based on continuous efforts along with the international community to secure full recognition and full United Nations membership, pursuing internal reconciliation, and keeping up the popular resistance."

In addition, officials in Ramallah have sought to induct Hamas and its terror confederates into the PLO.

"The Palestinians' decisions to attend these meetings were aimed at making a show for the Europeans," a diplomatic source told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday.

"The Europeans are against the unilateral track and the PA is creating the illusion of the process."