Middle-East

Palestinians Rebuff Netanyahu’s Incoming Peace Plan

Ramallah (Xinhua) — The Palestinians rebuffed on Saturday a partial peace plan, to be presented by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his scheduled visit to the United States, saying they reject any political plan based on establishing a state with temporary borders.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday that the Palestinians won’t accept any plan based on establishing a Palestinian state with temporary borders.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) attends a joint press conference with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera in the West Bank city of Ramallah on March 5, 2011. (Xinhua/Fadi Arouri)

“I’m not aware of the details of the plan that Netanyahu is going to present, but I know in advance that there is a plan, which had been presented in the past which is based on establishing a state with temporary borders. So if he wants to present the same plan, we won’t accept it,” Abbas told a press conference after meeting with visiting Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.

On Friday, a senior Israeli official revealed to the Israeli media that Netanyahu has been preparing a new political plan based on recognizing a Palestinian state with temporary borders and with Israeli security arrangements, adding that Netanyahu will unveil his plan in the United States in May.

The official said that Netanyahu will include in his political plan an offer to ease restrictions on the Palestinians, but he would reiterate the construction in big settlements in Jerusalem would continue. Israeli sources also said that Netanyahu is holding contacts with the United States on the details of his plan.

Meanwhile, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party told Israel Radio that Netanyahu is determined to present a long-term interim settlement with the Palestinians based on the necessity of carrying out a political plan to get out of the current stalemate in the peace process.

Ofer Akonis told the radio that the Jordan Valley area and the biggest settlements in the West Bank and all Jerusalem will be under Israel’s control in any future peace settlement. He said that they expect that the Palestinians will reject the plan to end the ongoing Mideast conflict.

Mohamed Ishteya, the Palestinian negotiator said that Netanyahu hurries up in presenting his new plan “in order to win more time and to lead the world to an illusion that he has a plan that is based on gradual implementation,” adding “we know very well that Netanyahu wants to keep the situation as it is.”

“What is needed from Netanyahu now is to declare that he is ready to end the occupation once and forever, and we may accept a gradual solution that leads to ending the occupation. But if the plan doesn’t end the occupation and will lead to a state with temporary borders, of course it will be rejected.”

The Palestinians had recently escalated diplomatic campaigns to urge the international community, mainly the European Union to recognize a Palestinian state on the territories that Israel occupied in 1967, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Palestinians are also demanding that the peace process should have an international reference in accordance to the international resolutions. The peace process should not be only sponsored by the United States, but also by member countries in the Quartet Committee.

Nasser al-Laham, a West Bank based analyst described Netanyahu’ s plan a step that aims at blocking the international support for the Palestinians and avoiding more international pressure on Israel, saying “Netanyahu wants to win more time.”

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