Fatah Insists: Interim Agreement Only On Our Terms
The Palestinian Authority (PA) declared Thursday that it would gladly accept the US framework for peace with Israel -- but only if it was outlined on the PA's own terms.
"[The PA] will not agree to any agreement, whether it is a framework agreement or a permanent arrangement, if they do not include the Palestinian and Arab positions which are in line with international law," Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for the PA in Ramallah, stated.
"The strong and consistent position of the Palestinian Authority is the same as the position of President Mahmoud Abbas, that there will not be a (Palestinian) state without East Jerusalem as the capital city, that we will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state, that settlements are illegal, that the Palestinian state will be along 1967 lines, that we must find a just solution to the refugee problem and that Israel must release the prisoners."
Abu Radeineh's statement echo equally defiant claims by the PA ambassador to Paris, who stated earlier Thursday before Abbas's upcoming meeting there with US Secretary of State John Kerry that the PA stubbornly refuses Israel's terms in the talks.
For its part, the PA has already formally refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The PA has also charged Israel of "imposing its agenda" on peace talks by raising the issue of Israel's Jewishness, even as US proposed deals would reportedly force Israel to obligate itself through guarantees that it will not compromise the status of Israeli Arabs, and in doing so begin "earning" PA recognition of Israel as the state of the Jews.
As a PA representative in the talks, Abu Rudeineh has repeatedly cited international law as a means of launching criticism against Israel. Recently, he slammed Israel's lead negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, claiming she was "unfit to be a negotiator" and "joining the other Israeli officials who are destroying talks."
Meanwhile, US officials insist they are making progress on drawing up the framework, which is due to set out parameters and goals of the negotiations by the end of 2014.