Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian Authority (PA) negotiator in peace talks with Israel, has reiterated the PA’s refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
According to a report Friday on Kol Yisrael radio, Erekat made the comments in a meeting with members of the Palestinian Arab community in London.
Erekat, the report said, told his audience that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas made it clear to the Americans that he would not recognize Israel a Jewish state, claiming that Israel's demand for recognition stems from its desire to change historical facts.
He further noted that Abbas will not agree that any Israeli civilians or military officials remain in the future Palestinian state.
Erekat also said that the PA demands that Israel compensate the so-called “Palestinian refugees” whether they decide to stay in their own countries, move to the Palestinian state, or return to Israel.
The comments are just the latest in a series of statements by PA officials who consistently refuse to make any concessions, while accusing Israel of being the obstacle to peace.
Earlier this week, 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.”
“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.
Meanwhile, the PA has continued to incite against Israel in its official television broadcasts and in schools, even as peace talks continue.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly stressed that unless the PA agrees to recognize Israel as the Jewish state there will be no.
Netanyahu recently told members of his Likud party that Abbas “knows full well” that without such recognition there could be no agreement.
Such recognition would be a major price for the PA to pay, and Netanyahu does not believe the PA is willing to pay it.
Abbas recently reiterated his refusal to recognize Israel, saying such recognition was “out of the question.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)