Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

#THE 51%

World War One: The war that changed women’s lives

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Ségolène Royal goes for green

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

  • Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

    Read more

  • Live: Israeli soldier feared captured, ceasefire 'over'

    Read more

  • Ugandan court strikes down anti-gay legislation

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Appeal court keeps French rogue trader Kerviel in jail

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Dozens killed and injured in Taiwan gas blast

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

Middle east

Netanyahu is sabotaging peace plans, says Abbas

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-15

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Benjamin Netanyahu was “sabotaging” peace plans, shortly after the Israeli prime minister laid out in a speech his vision for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

REUTERS - A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed a speech on Sunday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “sabotaging” peace efforts.

A senior Palestinian negotiator called on U.S. President Barack Obama to intervene to force Israel to abide by previous interim agreements that include freezing settlement activity in the West Bank. The alternative, he said, was violence.

“The peace process has been moving at the speed of a tortoise,” negotiator Saeb Erekat said.

“Tonight, Netanyahu has flipped it over on its back.”

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah said: “Netanyahu’s remarks have sabotaged all initiatives, paralysed all efforts being made and challenges the Palestinian, Arab and American positions.”

He noted Netanyahu’s demand that Jerusalem be the undivided capital of Israel and that Palestinian refugees not be allowed into Israel: “This will not lead to complete and just peace,” Abu Rdainah said.

“His remarks are not enough and will not lead to a solution.”

He described Netanyahu’s setting of a condition of demilitarisation as a condition for Israel agreeing to a Palestinian state as “detail”.

“Our main demand is the end of the occupation and finding a fair solution for Palestinian refugees and halting settlements,” Abu Rdainah said. “Other details should be resolved in negotiations.”

Erekat, one of the senior negotiators on Abbas’s team, said Palestinians needed to overcome the differences that have seen Hamas Islamists opposed to both Abbas and to interim accords reached with Israel seize control of the Gaza Strip.

He also appealed to Washington:

“President Obama, the ball is in your court tonight,” Erekat said. “You have the choice tonight. You can treat Netanyahu as a prime minister above the law and ... close off the path of peace tonight and set the whole region on the path of violence, chaos, extremism and bloodletting.

“The alternative is to make Netanyahu abide by the road map,” he said, referring to a U.S.-sponsored document under which Israel agreed to freeze settlement activity and Palestinians agreed to rein in militants hostile to Israel.

Date created : 2009-06-14

COMMENT(S)