Daily Israel Report

Fatah: Netanyahu Speech Announces End To Talks

Senior Fatah and PLO member criticizes Netanyahu's AIPAC address, takes issue with recognition and security demands.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 3/4/2014, 9:38 PM

Yasser Rabd Abbo and Nabil Shaath
Yasser Rabd Abbo and Nabil Shaath
Flash 90

As Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke at AIPAC's 2014 Policy Conference in Washington D.C., Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party lost no time in calling the speech "an official announcement of a unilateral end to negotiations."

Nabil Shaath, a member of Fatah's central committee and a senior official in the terror group Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), told AFP that Netanyahu's statements "contravene all the rules of the peace negotiations agreed with the Americans." 

Those statements included a call on Abbas to "recognize the Jewish state," a recognition he has refused repeatedly. Shaath said the demand for recognition was "totally rejected."

According to Netanyahu, such a recognition would "finally make clear that you (Abbas) are prepared to end the conflict," showing the PA is ready for a permanent resolution without leaving the door open for renewed claims later, such as an attempt "to flood Israel with refugees."

Shaath took issue with the statement, as the PA has demanded Israel let the descendants of Arabs who left the state at its founding to "return" to Israel, thereby effectively destroying the Jewish state demographically.

Another point that upset Shaath in Netanyahu's speech was the argument that any agreement would immediately come under attack by Hamas, Hezbollah and other radical groups, meaning only "the Israeli army, the brave soldiers of the IDF," could be trusted to secure Israel, as opposed to international forces whose permanence could not be guaranteed under fire.

In January, Shaath accused Israel of "imposing its agenda" on the talks, listing the two issues of recognition of the Jewish state and security in the Jordan Valley area.

Shaath also admitted last November that the PA was only remaining in the peace talks to secure the release of more terrorists prisoners as part of Israeli "gestures" to further the negotiations.