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Al Jazeera English’s ‘UpFront’ interview with Saeb Erekat

PLO secretary-general and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat speaks with Al Jazeera English’s Mehdi Hasan:

  • Erekat threatens to disband the Palestinian Authority: “Very soon, you’re going to hear some decisions”
  • Says he doesn’t “condone the killing of people” but he “fully supports” his people.
  • Accuses Netanyahu of backing “apartheid” and says negotiations with this Israeli government are “a waste of time”

(Washington D.C. – 23rd, October, 2015) – In a wide-ranging and exclusive interview with Al Jazeera English’s flagship current affairs show, ‘UpFront’, Saeb Erekat warns that the Palestinian Authority is on the verge of shutting down and says “Israelis are not defending themselves, Israelis are defending their occupation.”

“We are an authority without an authority,” Erekat told Hasan. “Soon enough Netanyahu will find himself the only [one] responsible between the river Jordan and the Mediterranean because he’s destroying the Palestinian Authority.”

The PLO secretary-general vowed “soon, very soon, you’re going to hear some decisions” about disbanding the PA.

Erekat continued: “The PA… is being destroyed, finished by Netanyahu. Now we’re not going to be an Authority by name. Yes, if Netanyahu thinks he can sustain the status quo we’re telling him you’re wrong and you’re invited to assume your powers as the occupying power.”

Erekat, considered to be Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’ closest adviser, said about the recent wave of stabbings and other attacks in Jerusalem, “we don’t condone the killing of people, we want to make peace, we want to save lives, Israelis and Palestinians”.

“We are fully supporting our people and their cry for freedom,” he said.

The chief Palestinian negotiator also accused Benjamin Netanyahu of backing “apartheid”: “He doesn’t seek a two-state solution, he seeks one state, two systems – apartheid.”

Asked by the host if there was any point negotiating with the Israeli prime minister, Erekat replied: “He was given the choice between settlements and peace, yes, I think it’s a waste of time because the man wants to dictate rather than negotiate.”

This interview will be available online at: www.aljazeera.com/upfront from 19.30 GMT onwards. THIs item was first published on Al-Jazeera.

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