Palestinian Authority wakes up to Israeli talks deception

The Palestinian Authority has finally admitted that the latest “peace” talks with Israel will be no different to the others held over the past 20 years and that, like them, are likely to yield absolutely nothing.

A senior Palestine Liberation Organization official, Yasser Abed Rabbo, told Voice of Palestine radio on 4 September that the current talks have so far proved “futile”.

Yasser Abed Rabbo

“Either this occupation and all settlement building ceases, or the process is doomed to failure and collapse”

“Until now there has been no progress,” he said, adding: “Despite our decision to take part in talks, we’re now seeing what we expected – that there is little hope for progress. In fact, that hope is non-existent and negotiations are futile.”

Abed Rabbo also said that the United States, which brokered the talks, must share the blame with Israel. “Saving this political process not only [requires] promises of more US meetings with the sides, but also a clear US stance and pressure on Israel,” he warned.

To recall, on the eve of the first bilateral meetings in Jerusalem on 14 August Israel announced plans to build more than 2,000 Jews-only squats in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

“Israel hasn’t committed to halting settlement building. We’ve seen the continuation of settlement building, which is destroying any chance for this political process,” Abed Rabbo said.

“Either this occupation and all settlement building ceases, or the process is doomed to failure and collapse,” he added

Alluding to the possibility that the main aim of the current talks is not a just peace but to avoid embarrassing US Secretary of State John Kerry and to give President Barack Obama something to boast about, Abed Rabbo said: “The number and dates of talks are not important. I’m not following exactly when the meetings have taken place, and this is not what we’re interested in… The fundamental issue is that until now there are no indications these talks have achieved any progress whatsoever.”

The logical step now is for the Palestinians to do what they should have done in the first place: pursue Israel in the International Criminal Court and mobilize international civil society to make the cost of Israel’s occupation and contempt for international law and the norms of civilized states unbearable.

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