Daily Israel Report

Erekat: We Have Nothing to Lose

Chief PA negotiator declares that there are dozens of other institutions the PA could join if Israel fails to live up to its commitments.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 4/4/2014, 9:31 PM

Saeb Erekat
Saeb Erekat
Flash 90

The chief Palestinian Authority (PA) negotiator said on Friday that the PA had nothing to lose by requesting to join international agencies.

In fact, said Saeb Erekat, according to The Associated Press (AP), there are dozens of other institutions the PA could join if Israel fails to live up to its commitments.

"We signed 15 (conventions), but there are still 48 treaties, conventions and agencies that we have not signed yet," Erekat told journalists after meeting with American mediator Martin Indyk.

"If the Israelis release the 30 prisoners, we are committed not to join these agencies, treaties and conventions, but if they (the Israelis) don't, we have a free hand," he declared, according to AP.

"We don't have anything to lose," Erekat said, but suggested there's still a chance to salvage the negotiations.

He made clear that the PA did not want to see U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's peace mission fail.

"The focus now is really, we want to avoid the crash (of the talks), we don't want to undermine the American efforts," said Erekat, adding that the PA’s next move depends on Israel.

Erekat was speaking hours after Kerry said he would "evaluate" his next steps regarding the peace talks.

I will be having conversations with the administration today, including the president, and we're going to evaluate exactly what is possible and what is not possible," he said.

"There are limits to the amount of time and effort that the United States can spend if the parties themselves are unwilling to take constructive steps," said Kerry, who added, "Both parties say they want to continue, neither party has said they want to call it off; but we're not going to sit there indefinitely, this is not an open-ended effort.”

Kerry admitted on Thursday that there was little he could do to save the talks, saying "you can facilitate, you can push, you can nudge, but the parties themselves have to make fundamental decisions to compromise."

Israel officially cancelled the fourth planned release of terrorists it had undertook to release as “gesture” to the PA, after the PA violated the conditions of the peace talks by unilaterally turning to the United Nations.

The PA’s UN envoy has claimed that the PA is eligible to join up to 550 international treaties and conventions, including the International Criminal Court.

(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.)