A Palestinian senior official close to the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has said that Abbas and members of the Palestinian leadership are disappointed with the futility of US secretary of state John Kerry’s efforts to revive peace talks, The Times of Israel said on Wednesday.
The reason, reported Avi Issacharoff the correspondent of the Israeli newspaper, is “not only because of the lack of political headway with Israel. For the time being, it seems that the Palestinian leadership has no clear strategy or plan to turn to the day after American attempts to renew the negotiations fail.”
“In addition, reconciliation talks with Hamas have been stagnant for a long period of time, the economic situation does not show signs of improving, and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, fed up with Fatah’s dirty internal politics, resigned last week.”
“Israel continues to refuse the Palestinians’ preconditions for returning to the negotiating table: a declaration regarding terms of reference for Israel’s obligation to the two-state solution based on 1967 borders, and / or a construction freeze on West Bank settlements.
“Israel is willing to make a few economic gestures, and possibly release a few high-ranking prisoners, but nothing more.”
The newspaper correspondent reported another Palestinian official in Ramallah as saying: “The question is not if Kerry fails, but when.”
According to him, the correspondent said, the secretary of state’s trick to “tempt” Abbas back to the negotiating table with economic gestures from Israel is completely misguided. “It is not the economy, stupid. It’s freedom,” the official said, smiling.
“It’s freedom. Come see the people in Ramallah. They are enjoying themselves, sitting in coffee shops, in restaurants. Some of them receive normal salaries. But Israel goes to the trouble of reminding us nearly every day that there is an occupation, and the people are fed up.”
“Arrests within Palestinian Authority (PA) territory, harassment from the settlers, construction on Palestinian land; even if Israel transfers the tax money on time, or approves plans to build industrial zones in the Jordan River Valley, that does not solve the problem, or satisfy people’s desire for a state.”