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Palestinians will not grant Kerry more time for negotiations

February 14, 2014 at 9:13 am

A senior member of the Fatah Central Committee said on Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority leadership will not give more time for the US Secretary of State’s efforts to resume negotiations with Israel. “We have given enough time for John Kerry,” said Nabil Shaath. “We will not wait forever.”

Palestinian newspaper Al-Risaalah quoted a well-placed Palestinian official who said that Kerry has asked the PA for an extension for his mission to revive the peace process. It started on March 20 and is due to end next Saturday.

According to Shaath, the problem is not with Kerry himself. “Israel’s policies are the main obstacle to his efforts.” He insists that the ongoing Israeli occupation and theft of Palestinian land, and the refusal to abide by international law with regards to Palestinian rights undermine Kerry’s attempts to re-open negotiations.

Asked about the attitude of the current Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu, the veteran politician said that it refuses to consider a just peace and ignores efforts to kick-start the peace process. “Thus, any negotiations without corresponding pressure on Israel to commit to international law will be both useless and a waste of time,” stressed Shaath.

As such, he added, the Palestinians will continue popular resistance against the Israeli occupation and resume internal reconciliation efforts. “Internationally,” he pointed out, “we will seek recognition by international organisations.”

Peace negotiations have been suspended since October 2010 due to Israel’s expansion of its illegal settlements on Palestinian territory.