PA Negotiator Tells UN Israeli 'Terror' Stopped Talks
Saeb Erekat, the head of the Negotiations Division of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and chief negotiator with Israel in the failed peace talks, blamed Israel for the failure of the talks on Thursday while speaking to foreign representatives.
Erekat spoke to UN Mideast peace envoy Robert Serry, who has been accused of abusing his position to stoke tensions in Israel, as well as the secretary generals of the British and Finnish foreign ministries.
Israel is striving to "destroy the two-state solution" according to Erekat, who cited Israel's policy of "settlement" in Judea and Samaria, IDF activity in "Palestinian territories," as well as the targeted killings and arrests of terrorists.
The end goal of Israel, according to the PA representative, is the "one-state solution," namely an Israel controlled by two regimes, an option he lined with insinuations of an "apartheid state."
According to Erekat, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas made every effort for the negotiations to succeed, while Israel over the course of the nine-month talks published bids on over 10,000 housing units, "killed 66 Palestinians in cold blood," destroyed 219 "Palestinian homes," and increased "settler terrorism" by 41%, including attacks on the Al Aqsa Mosque.
The various claims have numerous flaws, including the fact that a housing freeze on Israel was not a precondition of the talks, and that enforcing the law in confrontations with terrorists and demolishing illegal homes were likewise not forbidden. It remains unclear what "terrorism" Erekat referred to, although the Temple Mount has indeed been the target of much Arab violence.
Despite Erekat's version, the unity deal between the terrorist group Hamas and Fatah last month effectively torpedoed the talks just before their April 29 deadline, after PA unilateral applications to join 15 international conventions nearly ended them earlier that month.
However the unity deal was transformed by Erekat into an excuse for Israel to end the talks and "enforce their dictates," to build in the "settlements" and destroy the principle of two states along the 1949 Armistice lines.