by Chana Ya’ar
The faction that is led by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and which leads the PA has officially declared its formal refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish State. Its announcement recalled the three no’s of the Khartoum Arab League Conference of September 1967, following the Six Day War, which squelched all efforts to reach a peace agreement by declaring “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it”.
The Fatah Revolutionary Council over this weekend voted to “affirm its rejection of the so-called Jewish state or any other formula that could achieve this goal” at its fifth convention in Ramallah.
“The Council also renews its refusal for the establishment of any racist state based on religion in accordance with international law and human rights conventions,” the council said in a statement issued at the end of the convention.
In addition, the statement said Fatah was opposed to the concept of swapping land for peace, because “illegal settler gangs cannot be placed on an equal footing with the owners of the lands and rights.” Israel has long considered land swaps to be part of a final solution.
The latest efforts by the United States to bring Israel and the PA back to the negotiating table did not help the cause of peace, opined the Council, because it could “harm Palestinian rights and prolong the occupation… and such gifts to the occupier will only make the occupier more stubborn and radical.”
The Council also condemned the new Israeli law that mandates a full nationwide Israeli referendum prior to ceding land from within Jerusalem or the Golan Heights, saying it violated international law. Fatah Council members urged the PA leadership to fight the measure in the United Nations plenum and in U.N. Security Council.
PA Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas received the Council’s sole praise, with Fatah leaders expressing support for “adhering to the basic rights, first and foremost the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Also… for standing up against pressure aimed at resuming the peace talks without achieving the demands of the Palestinians.”
Abbas also vowed not to return to the negotiating table unless Israel completely froze Jewish construction throughout Judea, Samaria, and all areas of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority for its hoped-for new country.
Last Sunday thousands protested in Jerusalem against Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s agreement to a 90-day extension of the freeze.
U.S. President Barack Obama had threatened to back a unilateral PA declaration of statehood if Israel did not agree to the freeze. Obama also said, however, that there would be no demands for any further freeze extensions if Israel were to agree to the current “request.” He had no demands for the PA. Israel has repeatedly asked the PA to resume negotiations without pre-conditions.
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