Erekat blasts Greenblatt for remarks on Judea and Samaria

PLO Secretary General condemns US envoy for calling Judea and Samaria communities "neighborhoods and cities" and not “settlements”.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Saeb Erekat
Saeb Erekat

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary General Saeb Erekat on Friday condemned a statement by the US Middle East peace envoy, Jason Greenblatt, in which he said he prefers to use the terms "neighborhoods and cities" and not “settlements” in reference to the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Greenblatt’s comments were made on Thursday as he addressed the Israel Hayom Forum in Jerusalem.

The US envoy suggested that one of the ways to settle the longstanding Israeli-Arab conflict is “if people stop pretending settlements, or what I prefer to call neighborhoods and cities, are the reason for the lack of peace.”

On Friday, during a meeting with a delegation of US academics, clerks and representatives of civil society, Erekat said Greenblatt's statement was an incitement against all those who attended the recent Manama workshop for Middle East peace, reported the Wafa news agency.

He called on all parties who attended the Manama workshop to adopt a common position to affirm their commitment to international law and the principle of the two states on the pre-1967 borders, with eastern Jerusalem as capital of “Palestine”, and to a just solution to the issue of the “Palestinian refugees”.

Palestinian Authority (PA) official have been critical of the US and have boycotted American officials ever since President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December of 2017.

During the economic workshop in Bahrain, the US administration unveiled the economic portion of its peace plan, which aims to raise more than $50 billion for the PA and create one million jobs for its residents within a decade.

The PA boycotted the economic conference in Bahrain, calling it a meaningless meeting that was part of a meaningless plan.

Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi on Wednesday rejected the US proposal which was presented at the Bahrain economic workshop, saying it is an "insult to our intelligence" and "totally divorced from reality."

(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.)