PLO Executive Committee member and member of the PLC, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, today strongly criticized the draft statement America tried to impose on other Quartet members during their last meeting in Washington DC.
ďNot only has the United States adopted wholesale the extreme positions advocated by Israelís current hard-line government, it is also trying to bring the other members of the Quartet into acquiescence by adopting these same unjust positions and distorting their own official policy,Ē Dr Ashrawi said.
ďBilateral negotiations have failed precisely because they have lacked an even-handed broker prepared to introduce comprehensive terms of reference, to address and redress the asymmetry of power, to guarantee a timeframe for implementation, and to ensure adherence to international law and obligations, including the cessation of all settlement activities.Ē
ďThe proposed statement by the US mentions the 1967 borders and then immediately negates them in order to accommodate illegal Israeli settlements and other Ďfacts on the groundĒ created by Israel in violation of international law.Ē
ďUnder the cover of negotiations, Israel has created facts on the ground designed to preempt their outcome and to destroy the two-state solution. Palestinians are going to the United Nations in a bid to invoke international law, to achieve our right to self-determination and to achieve a just peace.Ē
Dr Ashrawi said that while Palestinians are seeking to create an inclusive and pluralistic state, they are being asked to accept an exclusive and discriminatory Israeli state.
ďWe will not condone discrimination against Israelís non-Jewish population, nor any attempt to undermine the legitimate rights of Palestinian refugees,Ē Dr Ashrawi said.
ďThe Palestinian leadership commends the other three members of the Quartet for holding fast to their political integrity rather than succumbing to American pressure. We hope that they will work closely with Palestinians in our pursuit of a genuine multilateral solution based on justice and international law,Ē Dr Ashrawi concluded.