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PA Planned to Torpedo Talks Weeks in Advance

Document reveals Erekat told Abbas to apply to international conventions well before fourth prisoner batch.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 5/7/2014, 8:08 AM

Mahmoud Abbas and Saeb Erekat
Mahmoud Abbas and Saeb Erekat
Flash 90

National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen has sent protest letters in the last two weeks to the White House as well as various other Western governments, in which he argues that the Palestinian Authority (PA) planned the failure of peace talks.

In the letter, Cohen states that the PA deceived US Secretary of State John Kerry regarding its intentions in the talks. Haaretz published the letter on Wednesday, after having received a copy on April 22.

A 65-page document submitted to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas by PA Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat on March 9 is attached to the letter.

The date places the document three weeks before the planned fourth batch of terrorist releases by Israel as a "gesture" for talks, a release Israel decided not to conduct due to the lack of progress in talks, and statements by PA officials who said they were only talking with Israel in order to have more prisoners released. Days later the PA breached talk conditions by applying to 15 international conventions, effectively torpedoing the talks.

In the document, Erekat makes recommendations regarding the policy the PA should take in the last month of peace talks, which were set to end on April 29, as well as what policy should be followed after their end.

Among other things, Erekat recommends submitting requests to join the Geneva Conventions along with a slew of other international conventions, as well as telling the US and Western powers that the PA will not extend the peace talks past their deadline.

The revelation is particularly meaningful, because Kerry blamed Israel for the failure of talks in early March before the Senate, referencing Israel's delay in releasing the terrorists. Kerry simply noted that Abbas's breach of talk conditions was "clearly unhelpful," effectively treating it as a reaction to Israel's move.