Netanyahu dual policy draws fire from all sides: Erakat

Netanyahu dual policy draws fire from all sides: Erakat
Mon Jan 27, 2014 17:46:13

Comments by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the World Economic Forum make it clear he is against the establishment of a Palestinian state, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat has said.

"Anyone who says they want the settlers to remain is actually saying they don't want the establishment of a Palestinian state," Erakat said in remarks published Monday in Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam.

Erakat was reacting to comments by Netanyahu at last week's WEF gathering in Davos, where the premier insisted Israel would not evacuate Jewish settlements built on occupied land the Palestinians want for their future state.

Netanyahu has publicly supported the two-state solution during US-sponsored talks which envisage the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a final peace agreement.

But at Davos, the premier told Israeli journalists at a briefing, "I have said before and I say again; I do not intend to dismantle any settlement, I don't intend to uproot any Israeli."

His comments were broadcast on public radio.

Israel's settlements, which are illegal under international law, are a key sticking point that is preventing peace talks from making any visible progress.

Political analyst Shimon Shiffer said Netanyahu's remarks were deliberate attempt to draw a hostile response from the Palestinians, painting them as rejecting peace.

"Netanyahu... is trying to push the settlers into a corner and challenge the Palestinian side, knowing that the latter will reply with a resounding negative," he wrote in the top-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper.


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