Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat revealed on Friday that the US president Barack Obama considers the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) application to the UN for non-member state as crossing all American red lines.
Speaking at a conference organised by the Arabic Centre for Research and Policy Studies at Doha, Erekat also said that the gap between the PA and the Islamic movement, Hamas, is “deep.”
At the same conference, senior Hamas figure Osama Hamdan agreed that the gap is “deep,” but insisted that the Palestinian resistance proved more successful in gaining rights than negotiations do.
The title of the conference where both leaders spoke, was ‘The Palestinian Issue and the Future of the Palestinian National Project.’
Insisting that negotiations are the right way to regain Palestinians’ rights, Erekat said: “We have never been closer to the point of returning Palestine to the map than this time.” He said that there are “real hopes to reach a resolution” with Israel.
Regarding differences with Hamas, he said: “When there is a difference, we have to go to the ballot boxes, and not use bullets.”
However, Hamdan said that the negotiations with Israel “will never achieve anything.” Hailing resistance as a means to regain rights, he said: “Resistance proved its ability in all atmospheres with or without the Arab Spring, with or without the siege and pressures.”
Meanwhile, for the first time, Erekat expressed his hope in resistance and insisted, as well as Hamdan, on the importance of reaching an internal reconciliation in order to improve chances to achieve real success.
Addressing all participants, Erekat revealed that Obama had sent a message via Martin Indic to the PA president Mahmoud Abbas regarding Palestine’s application to the UN for non-member state.
The message said that the Palestinian insistence to join an international organisation would mean, “crossing all American redlines in the region.”
Erekat added: “What is demanded from us today is to sign the four Geneva Conventions and the additional protocols ratified in 1967 because this means that Palestine was occupied in 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital.”