Wednesday, November 4, 2009
According to the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, Palestinians may need to abandon their goal of creating an independent state should Israel continue expanding Jewish settlements on contested land. Erekat stated it was time for Mahmoud Abbas to "tell his people the truth, that with the continuation of settlement activities, the two-state solution is no longer an option".
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unsuccessfully asked Abbas to negotiate with Israel in order to solve the settlement issue, saying "[g]etting into final status negotiations will allow us to bring an end to settlement activity." On a visit to Cairo, Clinton mentioned that Washington wanted an end to the activities in Israel.
Erekat commented that Clinton was only leading to more settlements in the following two years.
To "refocus their attention on the one-state solution where Muslims, Christians and Jews can live as equals", Erekat said, is the only door open for the Palestinians. "It is very serious. This is the moment of truth for us."
Erekat said Netanyahu told Abbas, "Jerusalem will be the eternal and united capital of Israel, that refugees won't be discussed, that our state will be demilitarised, that we have to recognise the Jewish state, that it's not going to be the 1967 borders, that the skies will be under his control".