PA Rejects Maaleh Adumim, Gush Etzion as Israeli
The Palestinian Authority has ditched any Quartet hopes for a negotiated peace with Israel and rejects Jewish sovereignty over “settlement blocs,” such as the city of Maaleh Adumim, home to approximately 40,000 Jews, and the Gush Etzion communities populated by Jews before the 1948 War of Independence.
It also demands the release of terrorists, the right to maintain a PA army and a halt to Jewish growth in Judea and Samaria in all parts of Jerusalem the Authority claims, according to PA documents that recently were presented to the Quartet and which were reported Sunday by the Hebrew-language Yisrael HaYom newspaper.
The Quartet – consisting of the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and the United States – met with PA and Israeli negotiators five times in Jordan in the past several weeks in a renewed Western effort to reach a negotiated agreement.
The only thing both asides agreed to was another date for a meeting, but that also was called off by the Palestinian Authority, which has indicated it feels ready to go back “Plan B” and win its territorial and political demands through membership in the United Nations.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas failed to gain the necessary two-thirds support in the United Nations Security Council last October for a motion to bring the request for membership to the General Assembly, where the PA is assured a majority. The Security Council make-up has since changed, but a two-thirds majority for the PA remains far from assured.
The PA document presented in Jordan includes a demand for 98.1 percent of Judea and Samaria and areas of Jerusalem that were restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967.
Virtually all of the Palestinian Authority demands are a rejection of Israeli “red lines,” which include maintaining the Oslo Accords prohibition on the establishment of a Palestinian Authority army.
“They ignored facts that have been on the ground for 40 years,” an Israeli source told the newspaper. “They ended up going back to the demands for a freeze on building for Jews in Judea and Samaria and the demand for freeing Hamas’ spokesman for Judea and Samaria."
“We did not agree to anything. The objective of gaining trust was not achieved. Most of the dialogue was a rehash of former requests for pre-conditions, this time through a back door. They also refused to agree for a meeting between Abbas and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.”
The central committee of Fatah, headed by Abbas, confirmed the document’s conclusion on Sunday, demanding that any agreement with Israel be based on the temporary borders determined by the 1949 Armistice Agreement, which became obsolete after the war in 1967.
Abbas chaired Sunday’s meeting, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency, which added that the discussion also covered reconciliation with Hamas.