Palestinians reject Netanyahu's talks-resumption initiative
The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on Tuesday rejected an Israeli initiative to resume peace talks in exchange for suspending settlement activities in the occupied territories for 10 months, Xinhua reported.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's initiative "doesn't mean full halting of settlement and doesn't meet the Palestinian demands," Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, told Xinhua.
Erekat explained that Netanyahu's plan would suspend tenders for new settlement projects but will allow underway projects to complete. "This means Israel will complete 3,000 settlement units in that period," Erekat said.
He reiterated that the PNA doesn't accept middle-ground solutions for the settlement issues.
Netanyahu's plan, applicable only in the West Bank and excludes East Jerusalem, was meant to resume the negotiations that have stopped for nearly a year.
At least "37 percent of the settlement expansions took place in Jerusalem," according to Erekat. "A Palestinian statehood without Jerusalem as its capital is meaningless."
For the Palestinians, negotiating a statehood while Israel builds settlement on their occupied land makes no sense.