The Palestine Liberation Organisation has denied the existence of a US plan for the revival of the peace process. Secretary of State John Kerry is due back in the region soon to meet Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.
According to PLO Executive Committee member Wasel Abu Youssef, “Kerry will return without a specific plan. He will have nothing new in his bag, just a programme of further meetings.” On his last visit, said Abu Youssef, the Secretary of State talked to the Palestinians about partial solutions, a route which is rejected by Ramallah.
“The Americans talk about the possibility of a temporary Israeli freeze of settlements outside the main settlement blocs, and the release in stages of the prisoners who were arrested before the Oslo agreement,” said the PLO official, “but these proposals were not presented by Kerry in a formal context.”
He stressed the Palestinian position that the Israelis must stop all settlement activities, be committed to the June 1967 borders and release long-term prisoners before negotiations can resume.
PLO ExCo Secretary Yasser Abed Rabbo confirmed the understanding that no new plan is being brought by Kerry. He questioned media reports to the contrary, describing them as “just some Israeli ideas that talk about a partial freeze of settlements.”
Talking in such a way means the practical legalisation of settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem said Rabbo. “The large settlement blocs are just as illegal as the smaller outposts,” he insisted, a fact recognised by international law.