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NGOs reject negotiations with Israeli occupation

The Palestinian NGO Network has declared that the Ramallah Palestinian Authority's decision to resume negotiations with Israel based on the recommendations of US Secretary of State John Kerry is "dangerous".

The group of 133 Palestinian NGOs in Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip said in a press statement on Wednesday that the danger of negotiations lies in them being held without any commitment to the required base reference points, which are supposed to be the minimum requirements for their resumption. These include the June 1967 borders, a freeze on settlement activity and releasing Palestinian prisoners.

"It is also dangerous to use the negotiations to stop the Palestinians joining international organisations, including the International Criminal Court following Palestine's membership as an observer state in the United Nations," said the Network.

Furthermore, the organisation pointed out that at a time when the struggle is intensifying on various levels towards strengthening the boycott campaign, which has started to yield results, "the negotiations will lead an end to this by convincing the world- wrongly that there is a political process in progress."

Despite the agreement to resume negotiations, noted the Network, it is clear to everyone that the Israeli occupation continues to build settlement units, expand settlements, seize land and Judaise Jerusalem despite. "The occupation is working to impose new facts on the ground and establish a system of enclaves and Bantustans, and the negotiations act as a cover for Israel's expansionist and racist policies in a blatant exploitation of the so-called political process, in order to dispel the goals of the national Palestinian struggle."

The NGO group believes that the decision to resume negotiations has come at a difficult time for the Palestinians in terms of the continued national division, and under unfavourable conditions with the Arab states, as each is preoccupied with addressing internal affairs. "Thus, the negotiations are being held in the absence of a cohesive Palestinian and Arab foundation that should act as an element of support for any political process".

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