Bethlehem, 21 Rajab 1437/29 April 2016 (MINA) – PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat slammed Israel’s rejection of the upcoming French initiative as a “reaffirmation of the Israeli government’s decision to continue its crimes and violations,” in a press release published Thursday evening.
Earlier on Thursday, a statement from the office of the Prime Minister of Israel rejected the the peace initiative saying that the “Best way to resolve the conflict between Israel and
Palestinians is direct, bilateral negotiations,” adding that “Any other diplomatic initiative distances the Palestinians from direct negotiations.”
Erekat responded by saying the “call for ‘bilateral negotiations’ is not a call for the achievement of the two-state solution, but an attempt at legitimizing its settlement enterprise and the imposition of an Apartheid regime,” Ma’an was quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
He added that Israel’s statement came “a few hours after Israeli officials confirmed to the Palestinian side that the Israeli government has decided to continue violating its obligations under the signed agreements, including the daily military raids in vast areas of the Occupied State of Palestine.”
The initiative in question was launched by the French for renewed peace negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leadership, the parameters of which will be presented at a peace conference at the end of May.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu previously criticized the French initiative, reportedly saying last week: “Can anyone explain what this initiative is about? Even the French don’t know.”
The initiative was also criticized by Palestinian factions Tuesday after it was announced that the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority was postponing the submission of a resolution against illegal Israeli settlements to the UN Security Council, to instead pursue the French initiative.
The much anticipated resolution would have been the first to directly condemn Israeli settlements as illegal under international law since the United States vetoed a similar resolution in 2011. (T/R07/R01)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)