Photo: Eli Mandelbaum
Palestinian political leader Hanan Ashrawi
Photo: Eli Mandelbaum
Israel 'willfully sabotaging' peace talks, PLO official tells J Street
Palestinian political leader Hanan Ashrawi meets with J Street delegation in Ramallah.

Israel is "willfully sabotaging" US Secretary of State John Kerry's peace efforts, a top Palestinian official told a J Street delegation in Ramallah on Wednesday, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.


The self-described "pro-Israel, pro-peace" J Street delegation was led by founder Jeremy Ben-Ami and they met with Palestinian political leader Hanan Ashrawi.


"Israel is willfully sabotaging US Secretary of State, John Kerry's efforts and using the negotiations as a cover to continue with its illegal settlement activities, particularly in and around Jerusalem, and the theft of Palestinian lands and resources, among other violations," Ashrawi was quoted as saying.


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Ashrawi briefed the delegation on the ongoing peace negotiations, as well as "Israel's violations of international law and their impact on prospects for peace and on the region."


She urged the Jewish-American delegation to help influence both the US administration and the Israeli government. "For there to be peace and stability, we must move rapidly," Ashrawi was quoted as saying.


According to Ma'an, Ashrawi also detailed Palestinian demands for a peace according, including borders based on the pre-1967 borders, East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state, a "just solution" to the Palestinian refugee question and the dismantlement of settlements and outposts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.


J Street did not confirm the meeting, nor made a statement and Palestinian reports did not include any comments made by members of the delegation.


Ma'an noted though that although J Street supports the right of Palestinians to "a sovereign state of their own," the group opposes boycott or other tactics deployed by Palestinian civil society to pressure Israel.


This is the second meeting this week between Palestinian officials and representatives of the Jewish nation. On Sunday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with Israeli students in Ramallah.


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