Palestinian leader Ashrawi: “What we need from the Quartet is for it to uphold international law”, Netanyahu proposal “manipulation” April 22, 2011

Palestine News Network -  19 April 2011

Executive Committee member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and MP, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, comments were made in response to a piece in today’s LA Times suggesting that the Quartet were considering recognizing a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, as a way to pressure Benjamin Netanyahu to devise his own peace plan.

“The Quartet has released no statement recognizing a Palestinian state. What we need from the Quartet is for it to uphold international law, and for its individual members to recognize a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, within the framework of the United Nations. The Palestinian leadership has been up front regarding its intention to seek recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations in September.”

Dr. Ashrawi also said that there would be no change to the PLO’s position on a return to negotiations.

“The position of the PLO Executive Committee remains clear. There will be no negotiations without a cessation of all settlement activities, without clear terms of reference in conformity with international law, and without a binding time line,” Dr Ashrawi said.

On the issue to the UN recognition of a Palestinian state by September, Dr Ashrawi said that recognition by the Quartet was neither a substitute for UN recognition, nor a full cessation of all settlement activities by Israel.

“UN recognition of a Palestinian state is consistent with international law. Israel has exploited twenty years of prolonged negotiations to create facts on the ground, in particular expanding illegal settlements throughout the West Bank, and annexing East Jerusalem. In the process, it has dramatically undermined prospects for a two-state solution.”

On the latest plan by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to withdraw from some parts of the West Bank and Hand them over to the Palestinian Authority Dr Ashrawi said that:

“Deliberate Israeli leaks of the so-called “Netanyahu initiative” show it to be little more than a reinvention of Israel’s occupation as a system of annexation and control, rather than a genuine attempt to end the occupation and abide by international law and the requirements of peace.”

Dr Ashrawi continued to say,” Some of the features of this initiative include already agreed upon troop redeployments; Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem; full Israeli control over the Jordan valley, as well as Palestinian water and airspace; the negation of Palestinian refugee rights; a phased or gradual approach; and an insistence on Palestinian recognition of Israel as Jewish state. “

“These constitute a manipulation of public opinion, rather than actual compliance with the requirements of peace,” Dr Ashrawi concluded.

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