Palestinian negotiator Mohammad Shtayyeh said that the Palestinian negotiating team has rejected a new interim agreement that Israel proposed during their recent talks.
Following his meeting with Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders in Ramallah on Tuesday, London-based Al-Hayat newspaper quoted Shtayyeh as saying: “We do not want to extend the current interim agreement and we do not want to reach a new interim agreement. What we are seeking is a permanent and comprehensive agreement which brings justice to the Palestinians. Israel seeks to reach an agreement which serves the Israeli settlements’ ambitions defying all international resolutions and laws. Israel’s insistence to expand construction of the settlements during the negotiations is a message to the Palestinians, the US and the world that it is not interested in reaching a political agreement and that it uses the negotiations to avoid international pressure and to continue its settlements project.”
According to Shtayyeh, “Israel has proposed to lease the Jordan Valley, which constitutes 28 per cent of the West Bank area, for 40 years and to assemble all West Bank settlements into ten blocs. Israel also wants to keep the early warning stations it has established on the West Bank Mountains, such as those in Mount Ebal in Nablus, the Hebron Hills and the eastern slopes.”
Earlier Palestinian sources had said that the Israeli side seeks to reach an Oslo II agreement, however the Israeli side now says that it is not possible to reach a permanent agreement at this stage.