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PNA urges Netanyahu to endorse Palestinian statehood
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09:10, June 15, 2009

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The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on Sunday called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare his government's commitment to a Palestinian statehood.

The PNA "wants Netanyahu to announce his acceptance to the Israeli obligations under the Road Map," veteran Palestinian negotiator Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio, referring to a U.S.-backed plan first endorsed in 2002.

Netanyahu, the hawkish leader, will deliver a public speech Sunday evening to outline his policies towards the Mideast peace process.

So far, he has been refusing the calls of the United States to abide by Israel's commitments in the first phase of the Road Map.

"These commitments are related to recognizing the principle of the two-state solution, recognizing all the signed peace agreements and stopping all settlement activities, including the natural growth," said Erekat.

Erekat added that Israel must also lift the blockade it imposed on the Gaza Strip. When the Road Map was declared, Israel was imposing limited restrictions on Gaza, but after Hamas seized the territory in 2007, Israel developed the restrictions into a tight siege in a bid to isolate the Islamic movement.

The peace negotiations between Israel and the PNA stopped last year after the former government of Ehud Olmert decided to rebuild more housing units into several settlements in the West Bank and around Jerusalem.

"Netanyahu must be sure that his attempts of playing with public relation words and expressions will not help him escaping from these commitments," said Erekat.

Source: Xinhua

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