The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) chief peace negotiator with Israel, Saeb Erekat, on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to prepare the Israeli people for “tough concessions”.
Speaking on Army Radio, Erekat once again blamed Israel for the lack of progress in peace talks, claiming that Israel was stubborn and refused to make any concessions while the PA had given up many of its demands.
“[We accepted] ’67 with mutually agreed swaps, we accepted a third party force - American, European, NATO - to be in our airports, our skies, our harbors, to make sure that we comply with agreements signed,” he said. “We said Jerusalem will be an open city, East Jerusalem capital of Palestine, West Jerusalem capital of Israel.”
“I haven’t heard any Israeli official from this government saying two states,” charged Erekat. “I haven’t heard any leader in this government saying East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. I haven’t heard any Israeli saying we recognize the State of Palestine’s right to exist in peace and security.”
He publicly called on Netanyahu to tell the Israeli people to prepare for concessions and urged him to accept the indefensible pre-1967 borders.
“I want, for the fifth time now, Mr. Prime Minister of Israel, to address his people, to tell his people, to prepare his people for what is needed, yes, and to say, 1-9-6-7. That’s what he needs to say,” declared Erekat, reciting the numbers 1, 9, 6, and 7 in Hebrew.
The chief PA negotiator also reiterated what he and other Arab leaders have said - that the PA would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, asserting that this is not necessary because the United Nations has already done so.
“The same thing as I have a birth certificate and you have a birth certificate, nations have birth certificates. Israel’s registered name at the UN is the State of Israel,” he said.
Blaming Israel for the lack of progress in peace talks is a regular tactic used by the PA.
Last month, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said that the PA has so far gotten nothing out of the ongoing peace negotiations with Israel and claimed that “the problem is with the Israeli side and not with us.”
He referred to Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria as "invaders" with "no right to Palestinian land”. Abbas also stressed that Palestinian Arabs living inside what is now Israel "were on the land 1,500 years before Israel was established."
Meanwhile, the PA has continued to incite against Israel in its official television broadcasts and in schools, even as peace talks continue.