Fatah official Ahmed Qureia
Photo: Yaron Brener
Fatah official: Jerusalem is ticking time bomb
Ahmed Qureia says Israel preventing talks by continuing construction in West Bank, e. Jerusalem

Fatah official Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala) accused Israel of neglecting to honor its obligations to freeze construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and said the violations would stop peace talks before they began.


Qureia told a Jerusalem conference on the proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians Sunday that Jerusalem was "a ticking time bomb", and blamed Israel's prime minister for this.


"Netanyahu is only spurring the expansion of settlements, despite the freeze that was not even carried out. He continues to make one-sided moves in Jerusalem: Every day something is built or razed, and Nir Barkat is cooperating with him," he said.


"The Palestinians are mad at all this. Though I am not currently a decision-maker, I know the Palestinian leadership cannot sit down to talks before the construction in settlements is halted."


The Fatah official added that even indirect talks were out of the question as long as there was construction.


"I don't see a difference between direct and indirect talks. The essence is more important than the procedure. But what Israel is doing one-sidedly is unacceptable to anyone," he said.


Qureia gave the example of the recent release and deportation of Hamas member Muhammad Hassan Abu Tir from Jerusalem. "These are things that affect the faith on both sides. We are conducting negotiations with Israel, and not separately with each prime minister who has an agenda of his own. If Israel does not adopt a permanent policy, there will be no talks," he said.


Opposition chairwoman Tzipi Livni was also present at the conference, and spoke of the peace talks as well.


"The Annapolis process did not fail and it is not finished, it has only stalled. We have agreed that nothing is agreed upon until everything is agreed upon," she said.


"We touched upon core issues and decided it was not a matter of historic rights to land but rather a decision on how to divide the land into two nation states."


Livni added that she would support the government's stance in the talks as long as "the difficult decisions that need to be made will be made".


"The goal is to reach a settlement with the Palestinians. In order to stop the negative international washout, we need an essential change in government and the mood. When this happens, I will be happy to support the peace process," she said.


פרסום ראשון: 07.11.10, 20:10
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