Palestinian official says U.S. will never present Middle East peace plan

  • Saturday 15, September 2018 in 8:56 PM
  • Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian chief negotiator
Sharjah 24 – Reuters: The United States will not present its long-awaited plan for Israeli occupation-Palestinian peace any time soon and is instead trying to unilaterally change the terms of reference for any future proposal, a senior Palestinian official said on Saturday.
Echoing deep scepticism among the Palestinians, Arab countries and analysts, Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian chief negotiator, said that the Trump administration was siding with Israeli occupation on the core issues of the decades-old conflict, burying all chances for Middle East peace.
Doubts have mounted over whether Trump's administration can secure what he has called the "ultimate deal" since December, when the U.S. President recognised Al Quds as Israeli occupation’s capital and then moved the U.S. Embassy there.
The United States has also cut off aid to the Palestinians and to UNRWA - the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees -- and has ordered the PLO’s office in Washington shut, further angering Palestinian leaders.
Erekat said it appeared that the United States has accepted Israeli occupation's positions on other main issues of the conflict, and not just Al Quds, including the fate of millions of Palestinian refugees from wars dating to 1948 and Israeli occupation settlements on land Palestinians envisage as part of their future independent state.
Greenblatt, a chief architect of the initiative, said U.S. negotiators had entered the "pre-launch phase" of the plan, despite the boycott by Palestinian leaders, but declined to specify a time frame.
U.S. officials have so far been non-committal about whether their plan would endorse the creation of a Palestinian state beside the state of Israeli occupation- the goal of previous rounds of negotiations, the last of which collapsed in 2014.
"They are telling us 'peace based on the truth'," Erekat said.
"The Kushner truth and the Netanyahu truth is that Al Quds is Israeli occupation's capital, no right of return to refugees, settlements are legal, no Palestinian state on 1967 (borders) and Gaza must be separated from the West Bank and this is absolutely unacceptable," Erekat said.
"The only thing this administration did since it came to office is just to take Israeli occupiers and Palestinians off the path to peace, off the path of the two-state solution," Erekat said.