Palestinians hope U.S. convinces Israel to accept two-state solution: official

11:05, June 13, 2011      

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The Palestinian leadership hopes that the United States could successfully convince Israel to commit to the two-state solution on the 1967 borders and to stop settlement construction, senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Sunday.

If Israel accepted the two-state solution and stopped settlement construction, "negations will be resumed to resolve all the outstanding cases within a pre-defined time between the two sides," Erekat said.

Erekat accused the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of redefining the bases of the peace process by keeping Jerusalem occupied and dropping the files of refugees, borders, security and Jerusalem from the final-status talks. The Palestinians want the eastern part of Jerusalem as a future capital while Israel refuses to divide or share the city.

Erekat's remarks came after Israeli media reports said that the White House was waiting for Netanyahu to declare his acceptance of the principles the U.S. President Barack Obama declared in a speech last month.

In his speech, Obama urged Israel and the Palestinians to resume negotiations. He was the first American president to call for making the 1967 lines as the basis of the talks with mutually agreed land swaps.

If Israel accepted this, there would be a chance to avoid a vote in the United Nations on the Palestinian statehood in September, the reports quoted officials as saying.

The Palestinians decided to turn to the UN after the U.S.- brokered peace talks broke down last year. The Palestinians walked out of the negotiations in protest of Israel's decision to resume construction in the West Bank Jewish settlements.

Source: Xinhua
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