Palestinian Negotiator Erekat Urges Kerry To Salvage Peace Talks

Kerry Set To Meet With Both Sides Tomorrow

getty images

By Reuters

Published December 04, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The top Palestinian peace negotiator urged U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday to salvage American-brokered Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that both sides say are faltering.

Sixteen Palestinians and four Israelis have been killed since negotiations began in July and Palestinian officials say the sides remain far apart on the central issues of borders, security, Jerusalem’s status and Palestinian refugees.

“Mr. Kerry must work to save the talks, to work to stop the deterioration of the talks caused by Israel’s continuing settlement activity and crimes committed in cold blood,” Saeb Erekat told Palestinian radio.

For its part, Israel has accused Palestinian leaders of engaging in anti-Israel incitement and hampering talks by refusing to recognise the country as a “Jewish state.”

Palestinians have objected to continued Jewish settlement expansion on occupied land they want as part of a future state.

Kerry is scheduled to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Thursday to try and set right peace talks that he and many analysts say may be the last chance to achieve a “two-state solution” for the two peoples.

An Israeli newspaper report on Wednesday said that 2,000 hectares (about 5,000 acres) of West Bank land that is privately owned by Palestinians - but is in areas where Israel exercises military and civilian control - will be given to Palestinians in the next 90 days for agriculture and commerce.

The Maariv report said Israel had bowed to a U.S. request to hand over the land to show that it is prepared to allow Palestinian projects to be advanced in these areas. There was no official Israeli comment on the report.

Palestinians want the West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem, areas that Israel has controlled since capturing them in the 1967 Middle East war, as well as the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by Hamas Islamists, for an independent state.

Erekat and his fellow Palestinian envoy Mohammed Shtayyeh offered to resign last month after Israel announced the latest in a series of plans to build thousands of new settler homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

“The last negotiations meeting took place on November 5 - there have been communications with the Israeli side since then, but I couldn’t call them negotiations,” Erekat said.

Officials from both sides have said that the American sponsors of the talks may soon present a “bridging proposal” to bring the two sides closer together, although Erekat said he doubted that would happen on Thursday.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.