Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • Live: France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Algerian jet vanishes: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Deadly Israeli strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

Middle east

Mixed response from Palestinians on Quartet peace proposal

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2011-09-30

Palestinians were cautious in their response to proposals for renewed peace talks with Israel Thursday, nearly a week after international mediators known as the Quartet called for the two sides to meet within a month.

A proposal for new peace talks announced by the international peacemaking Quartet last week contains "encouraging elements," a senior Palestinian official said on Thursday.

Speaking after a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's executive committee, PLO secretary general Yasser Abed Rabbo (pictured) said the proposal contained positive language.

"The Quartet statement contains encouraging elements and we call on Israel to announce its commitment to the principles and points of reference it identifies," he told reporters.

He said the Palestinians interpreted the language of the Quartet's call for new talks, which referenced the peace plan known as the Road Map, as a demand for Israel to halt construction of settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

"We consider the Quartet's reference to the obligations of the Palestinian and Israeli sides under the Road Map and the call to avoid provocative acts as a clear call for a definitive halt to settlement activity in all its forms, which is an encouraging sign," he said.

FRANCE 24 INTERVIEW with Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat

However, in an interview with FRANCE24’s Annette Young, Chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, agreed that the Quartet’s attempt to restart peace talks could be torpedoed by Israel’s decision to build 1,100 new homes in the settlement of Gilo in East Jerusalem.

“Mr Netanyahu’s decision to respond to the Quartet’s statement by authorising 1,100 housing units is 1,100 no’s to resuming negotiations and he's deliberately attempting to undermine any effort in reviving the peace negotiations and the peace process,” Mr Erekat said.

While refusing to say if this latest announcement meant the Quartet’s proposal was now “dead in the water,” he stressed the Israeli decision had undermined any such attempt to get both sides talking again.

The Quartet, composed of the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia, announced their bid to renew peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians on Friday.

It came shortly after the Palestinians submitted their bid to join the United Nations as a member state.

The proposal calls for talks to begin within a month, for both sides to produce concrete ideas on security and borders within three months, and for a final deal to be reached before the end of 2012.

It says talks should be based on previous Security Council resolutions, the Road Map and the Arab peace initiative, and a speech given by US President Barack Obama in May.

Obama's speech called for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to use the lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War as a basis for deciding future borders.

Abed Rabbo praised the Quartet for laying out the timetable and referencing both previous peace proposals and Obama's speech, but he stopped short of saying the Palestinians had explicitly accepted the call for new negotiations.

And he reiterated that the Palestinians will not hold peace talks unless Israel halts settlement construction and agrees to a clear framework for the negotiations.

So far, the Quartet's proposal has been cautiously received, with the Palestinians repeating calls for a settlement freeze and clear parameters and Israel saying only that it is studying the issue.

Abed Rabbo's comments suggested the Palestinians plan to keep their position ambiguous for now, as Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas consults officials in Ramallah and seeks opinions from the Arab world.

In the meantime, the Palestinians are also trying to boost support for their historic bid to win recognition as a state member of the United Nations.

Earlier on Thursday, Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki said eight members of the Security Council had pledged to approve the bid, one shy of the nine votes needed to advance it to the General Assembly.

Even if the nine votes are secured, the United States has pledged to veto the request, but the Palestinians hope to secure a diplomatic victory by winning a majority in the council.

The Palestinians are planning a diplomatic offensive, reaching out to council members Bosnia, Portugal and Colombia, which are currently undecided on the vote or have suggested they will abstain, Malki said.
 

Date created : 2011-09-29

  • ISRAEL - PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    US, EU condemn Israel settlement plan

    Read more

  • ISRAEL - PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    Israel approves 1,100 new homes in East Jerusalem

    Read more

  • UNITED NATIONS

    Mideast quartet envoys call for peace deal by 2012

    Read more

COMMENT(S)