Palestinian negotiator refuses Israeli call for public debate

09:05, August 01, 2011      

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A chief Palestinian negotiator on Sunday rejected an Israeli call for a public debate on Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

"Ending the Israeli occupation is not a point need to discuss," said Saeb Erekat.

Erekat's remarks came after Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon challenged Erekat to accept a public debate on the status of the West Bank, which has been occupied by Israel since 1967.

Earlier this month, Ayalon appeared on an internet video asserting that the West Bank was not occupied.

"Ayalon's call doesn't worth a response," Erekat said, adding " the Palestinians want to build their state on the occupied lands within the pre-1967 borders."

In September, the Palestinians will ask the United Nations General Assembly to vote on their independence, while Israel and the United States considered the move as a unilateral step.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians stopped after Israel resumed building settlements in the West Bank last year.

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