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U.S. mediation on resuming Mideast peace talks unfair: Palestinian official


12:08, June 10, 2013

RAMALLAH, June 9 (Xinhua) -- A senior Palestinian official said Sunday that the United States' mediation to resume the peace talks with Israel is "unfair."

Marwan Barghouti, a high-ranking member in President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party and currently serving life imprisonment in an Israeli jail, told Xinhua via his attorney that the peace process had failed to achieve its goals over the past several years " because the Americans were biased to Israel."

Barghouti said U.S. President Barack Obama's stances were depressing and he had already failed to convince Israel to be committed to the requirements to make the peace process successful.

"President Obama has not shown a real serious determination to implement the related international resolutions to fairly resolve the Palestinian cause and the conflict with Israel," he said, adding that "Obama is to blame because he obstructed the Palestinians right to be a member in international organizations."

Obama and his administration are offering financial and military support to Israel, while he failed to help the Palestinians gain back their legitimate rights, Barghouti said.

Asked about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts to resume the peace talks with Israel, he said "If Kerry really wants the talks to be resumed, he should ask Israel first to halt settlements, end the military occupation and accept the establishment of an independent Palestinian state."

He said Kerry must understand that the Palestinians are not seeking anymore Israeli goodwill gestures. "It is obvious that the Palestinians want their national rights and they refuse to accept any economic attractions at the expense of freedom and justice."

Barghouti warned that if the Palestinian leadership accepts to go to the negotiations with Israel without gaining the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, such as ending the occupation and establishing the Palestinian state, "this would cause severe harms to the highest interests of our people."

Meanwhile, the Fatah Party official slammed the recent Arabs agreement with Washington to accept the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with a light swap of territories between Israel and the Palestinians, saying that the Arabs are not authorized to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people.

"Accepting such kind of proposals would legalize settlement activities that are rejected by the international laws," he said, adding that he is not optimistic that a real and fair peaceful solution can be reached with the right-wing party leading the Israeli government.

What is needed from the Palestinian leadership is to get back to the United Nations and seek a full membership in its General Assembly. "The state of Palestine should be a member in all the international protocols, agreements and treaties," said Barghouti.

"What is also needed is to boycott Israel and its military occupation of the Palestinian territories and escalate the popular peaceful resistance against it," he said, adding that the Palestinian factions have to expand their comprehensive struggle against Israel.

Barghouti called on the Palestinian rivals, Fatah and Islamic Hamas movement, to end their internal division and seek for a real national unity.

He urged them to turn into partners, adding that partnership between Fatah and Hamas has to be based on strategic understanding, bearing in mind the Palestinian people's interests and determination to get back to elections.

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