Palestinian-U.S. relations crack up: official

10:23, February 20, 2011      

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Saeb Erekat, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) member and newly resigned Palestinian Chief negotiators gives a statement to media about the U.S. veto after his political lecture in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Feb. 19, 2011. Erekat condemns the U.S. veto in the United Nations Security Council against a draft resolution condemning Jewish settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories. (Xinhua/Fadi Arouri)
Palestinian-U.S. relations started to crack up as a result of a U.S. veto on a U.N. draft resolution on Jewish settlement construction, a Palestinian official said Saturday.

Saeb Erekat, a member of Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee, said the ties have been tense recently, after the Obama administration gave up pressure on Israel to stop the settlement activities in the West Bank.

That the United States vetoed the resolution "cannot be justified or accepted in any way," Erekat said, adding that the U. S. decision encourages Israel to build more settlements.

Erekat said there is no partner for peace in Israel. He also slammed the United States for "dealing with Israel as a state above the law." The Palestinian leadership will compressively evaluate the peace process, he added.

The alternatives that should be studied now are a timetable for Palestinian independence and an examination of the Palestinian National Authority's ability to continue its work, according to Erekat.

Trying the first option, the Palestinian leadership will go to the United Nations Security Council again and ask for a full U.N. membership for Palestine as an impendent state, Erekat revealed.

Fourteen members of the U.N. Security Council supported the Arab-endorsed bill.

The U.S.-brokered negotiations were halted in September, when Israel resumed building settlements in the West Bank after a 10- month moratorium.

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Source: Xinhua
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