Erekat Accuses Quartet of Caving in to Israel

PA chief negotiator says Quartet gave in to Israeli dictates by postponing a scheduled visit to Ramallah and Jerusalem this week.

Ben Ariel ,

Saeb Erekat
Saeb Erekat
Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, is accusing the Middle East Quartet of “giving in to Israeli dictates” by postponing a visit by a Quartet delegation, which was scheduled to arrive in Ramallah on Wednesday.

Representatives of the Quartet were set to visit Jerusalem and Ramallah this week, but they canceled the trip after a request by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who reportedly objected to the visit's timing.

In a strongly-worded letter to a Quartet representative quoted by Haaretz on Thursday, Erekat said that The Quarter's decision to cancel its visit "sends a troubling message that the international community is willing to heed Israeli demands for non-intervention, thus signaling acceptance of Israel's escalation of its violations of individual and collective Palestinian rights."

Erekat also blamed the recent security escalation on the "lack of action" on the part of the international community.

"The situation on the ground today warrants immediate attention by the international community, in particular the [UN] Security Council and the Middle East Quartet," the letter stated, according to Haaretz.

The letter said Erekat was also sending a report on "the Israeli crimes and violations [against the Palestinians] committed during the past 30 days."

The Quartet was set up in Madrid in 2002 as part of efforts to find a comprehensive settlement to the conflict between Israel and the PA.

In 2011 the group suggested a timetable which it said would bring forth a peace agreement by the end of 2012, one of several initiatives proposed by the Quartet which have failed.

The group has been mostly on the sidelines of the peace efforts over the past year as it let Secretary of State John Kerry try to broker a deal between the sides, an effort which ultimately failed when the PA torpedoed talks by requesting to join 15 international agencies.

But earlier this month, the Quartet announced it had decided to give new impetus to trying to get Israel and the PA to resume peace talks, this time with the help of key Arab states.

Erekat, meanwhile, threatened earlier this week that the PA would sue Israel at the International Criminal Court over what he termed "extrajudicial executions." 

Erekat's threats came after a wave of stabbing and car attacks targeting Israeli Jews over the past two weeks. 

More than 20 stabbing attacks have occurred in Israel, Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria since October 3 - not including car attacks, rock-throwings, firebomb attacks, and shootings. 

At least 25 terrorists have been killed by security forces,  and PA and Hamas media have encouraged more and more people to carry out attacks and become "martyrs." 

Erekat's threat is the latest in the PA's "diplomatic war" on Israel, which has included a barrage of petitions to the ICC blaming the Jewish state for various "war crimes" - while the PA and Hamas participate in war crimes themselves.