Netanyahu leaves nothing to negotiate: Chief Palestinian Negotiator
Chief Palestinian Negotiator Dr Saeb Erakat today said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech at Bar-IIan University set further preconditions for negotiations and, in effect, announced Israel's intention to unilaterally dictate a solution, rather than negotiate a peace.
"Benjamin Netanyahu spoke about negotiations, but left us with nothing to negotiate as he systematically took nearly every permanent status issue off the table, Erakat said.
Israel PM Netanyahu during his political speech in Israel's strategic center of Begin-Sadat expressed his willingness to recognize the Palestinian state, only if its complete demilitarization and public recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, RIA Novosti reported with reference to the France Presse.
Netanyahu reiterated his willingness to immediately and unconditionally return to the negotiating table with the Palestinians, as well as engage in a dialogue about peace with all Arab countries - at any time, anywhere, whether Damascus, Riyadh or Jerusalem.
"Nor did he accept a Palestinian state; instead, he announced a series of conditions and qualifications that render a viable, independent and sovereign Palestinian state impossible," Dr Erakat said.
He added that Netanyahu's calls for a meeting with Arab leaders, does not mean anything, because he refused the Arab peace initiative and the promise of a regional truce.
The Arab Peace Initiative adopted at the LAS summit in Beirut in 2002, provides for the establishment of a Palestinian state within 1967 borders and return of Palestinian refugees instead of restoration of the Arab-Israeli relations.
FM of Israel Avigdor Lieberman refused to accept the Arab initiative, calling it "a recipe for the destruction of Israel" in March.
"And he failed to set the stage for negotiations: there was no acceptance of the two-state solution, no announcement of a comprehensive settlement freeze including all natural growth, and no intention to lift all restrictions on Palestinian movement, including an end to Israel's siege on Gaza," he added.
Netanyahu does not even have basic understanding of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," Arikat said.