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Erekat says secret talks with Israel are not negotiations
Published Sunday 10/06/2012 (updated) 12/06/2012 11:28
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Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with PLO official
Saeb Erekat during their meeting in Jerusalem on April 17, 2012, in this
picture released by the Israeli Government Press Office.
(Reuters/Amos Ben Gershom/GPO, HO)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Sunday that while he has held secret talks with Israeli envoys, any return to full negotiations will depend on a full settlement freeze.

Erekat said he had discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's adviser Yitzhak Molcho while he delivered a letter from President Mahmoud Abbas to Netanyahu on April 17.

He described another meeting on May 7 when he went to receive Netanyahu's reply. Officially, Molcho delivered his premier's response to Abbas and Erekat in Ramallah on May 12. Meanwhile, Erekat suffered a mild heart attack on May 8 and said he was thus unable to hold more talks.

Israeli daily Haaretz reported Sunday that the envoys had held six or seven meetings in the last two months, prior to Erekat's heart attack, on the exchange of communiques, and Palestinian requests for goodwill gestures from Israel.

Erekat told Ma'an the Palestinian position remains based on a full settlement freeze and recognition of a Palestinian state on 1967 borders as the basis of full negotiations.

"Otherwise, we will end up repeating the previous rounds of negotiations," he said.

The revelation of ongoing talks between Molcho and Erekat comes as President Abbas indicated he would talk to Israel if it freed prisoners and allows more arms to Palestinian security forces.

On Friday, Abbas said he had informed Israeli envoys he would open a dialogue with Israel in exchange for arms allowances and released detainees, but stressed it wouldn't amount to full negotiations, reiterating his insistence on a total freeze on settlements.

Erekat commented on an earlier statement by Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak that Israel might consider "unilateral steps," interpreted as military withdrawal from parts of the West Bank, if peace talks do not proceed.

"We can not control the lips of Israeli leaders, but we warn that unilateral steps failed in Lebanon and in the Gaza Strip," Erekat told Ma'an.

Israel would be better stick to already signed agreements, he added.

The senior Palestinian official said that the leadership "have not changed our mind" on pursuing upgraded membership of the United Nations, but would not seek any trouble with the United States.

The United States cut off funding to Palestinians last year after Abbas made a bid for recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations Security Council.

After the bid failed, Palestinian leaders are still touting the option of seeking the lesser status upgrade at the UN General Assembly, where the US does not have veto power.
1 ) deavman / IL
10/06/2012 13:19
Saeb,Saeb, Saeb if you have nothing intelligent to say, please STFU !

2 ) AKeenReader / UK
10/06/2012 13:25
Palestinians should avoid ANY contact with barbaric Israei govtl. Palestinian leaders should inform us as to what is achieved during these secret negotiations and what is the actual purpose. Discussions have been taking place for the past two decades without achieving anything, so why now. In fact secret negitations gives Israel some publicity but nothing to the Palestinians. STOP THESE MEETINGS.

3 ) shirley / australia
10/06/2012 14:34
these are talks and secret and about what ammunition pals have plenty PA have not shot a bullet to protect pals or stop illegal settlers rampaging and killing so where has amo gone it has gone nowhere US inly couple of months ago criticized PA for wasting millions on security and equipment then light bulb goes on in Washington give PA a reason to start talking to Isreal using security andweapons as cover thought p[als had seen this tactic before and were well aquainted with US sleeze tactics

4 ) Mel / USA
10/06/2012 15:29
Erekat doesn't need to discuss "arms",or "prisoners" with occupying POW camp "Meister"Herr Bibi! The'prisoners' will be conscripted into the PASF,& toy-guns will be giving to PASF on condition they continue to be Israel's proxy police-force in W/Bank,or Gaza,to protect ARMED Ashkenazi land-robber colonists,from UNARMED(relatively)Arab native landowners(evicted). "Control" your "Lips" Saeb,in the direction of the UNGA/Hague,only,where global & legal consensus lays with Palestine anyway!

5 ) What The Future Will Be / Prophets
10/06/2012 17:43
There will be NO more Settlement Freezes provided by Israel, so There will be NO Negotiations provided by the PA, and thus There will be NO Palestinian state created, though It will get up-graded from UN "Observer" to "Non-Member", and Israel will also react unilaterally regarding final status issues (movement, borders, taxes, water, etc.), and There will be NO need to discuss it further, in the future !!!!

6 ) Lukas / AntiNutty-Yahoo
10/06/2012 18:01
Before it was announced that Erekat would resign. That he is still is operating as a "negotiator" is a bad joke. But nothing is a surprise when it comes to the so called Palestinian Authority.

7 ) Colin Wright / USA
10/06/2012 21:26
Palestinians should read post #5. There's no negotiating partner. You're trying to appease a monster. Forget it.

8 ) Tibi / Tubas
10/06/2012 21:28
Erekat knows that secret talks, but NOT negotiations, lead to a secret "status quo", with Gaza blockaded, and Palestine NOT a real state.

10/06/2012 21:57
The Israeli PM should publicly invite Erekat, Abbas, Haniyeh, Mashaal, and all major world medias, to Peace talks in Jerusalem, on a fixed schedule, say for example the 1st Tuesday of every month at 12 PM, and when Erekat, et.al. don't show, the Medias can report that !! And every 1st Tuesday, the Israeli PM's statement should be, "I'm regret that Abbas, et.al. declined to discuss peace at the time & place I chose, and I welcome their proposal of a time & place for peace talks" !!!

10 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
10/06/2012 22:27
Colin Wrong maybe right after all. Israel should also demand pre-conditions, and Bibi should say that he'll freeze construction to the same extent that the Palestinians freeze violence. After all, the Palestinians signed several agreements to stop violent attacks, and they are of course against international law. How about it, Colin? Seems like a fair deal. Think the Pals can stop the violence? We don't.

11 ) Julie / USA
11/06/2012 00:36
naziyahoo izraeli PM should comply with INTERNATIONAL LAWS, period.

12 ) The End / continued
11/06/2012 01:45
The "Ball" is in Palestine's Court, and with or without a settlement freeze, THE ONLY ROUTE TO STATEHOOD REMAINS NEGOTIATIONS.

13 ) Colin Wright / USA
11/06/2012 09:04
Re 'Peace/Now' #9 Rather predictably, 'Peace' is a Zionist, and at a guess, his definition of 'peace' is the other side surrenders and Israel gets it all. It is a farce, anyway: we all recall that when Netanyahu last 'negotiated,' he simply refused to discuss any of the issues in dispute. Talks are for Israel to keep taking, and 'Peace' knows that as well as any of us.

14 ) Mel / USA
11/06/2012 15:58
Believing one can "negotiate" with deluded,narcissistic,sociopaths who believe they are/were "chosen"/"Herrenvolken",is deluded too. Palestinians know that,after 65 yrs?Albeit,local factions enjoy power 'perks' under occupation! In WW2,we called them COLLABORATORS who didn't blink as foreign "uber-meisters" tortured/killed their fellow nationals.Conscionable,rational people NEVER negotiate with lawless,maniacs(like Nazi-Zionists)when global consensus,humanity,&rule of law,is on their side.

15 ) An Unpleasant / Reality
11/06/2012 15:59
Israel can/will wait, as a real, secure & prosperous state, until the Palestinians complete the negotiations, compromise, & peace process.
And, until Palestinians complete the process, their state will remain
what it is today, little more that a fantasy, in numerous isolated cantons,
that must continue begging for dwindling world donations !!!

16 ) @ Colin--13 / USA too
11/06/2012 21:20
You could NOT be more WRONG, since NOT only does Israel NOT want it all,
Israel could NOT be forced to accept it all, or any of the land/population beneath 99% of Palestinian people (Areas A/B & Gaza).

And, regarding surrender, isn't that what Arabs intended to force upon Israel, if NOT genocide, in 1948, 1967, & 1973 ??

17 ) Colin Wright / USA
12/06/2012 10:08
To Brian Cohen #10 'Think the Pals can stop the violence? We don't.' Rather comically, there has been very little violence emanating from the West Bank for perhaps seven years now. Go ahead and list it 'all' -- it's not much for a population of that size. But this won't affect you in the least -- you'll just keep making the same claims, no matter how nonsensical.

18 ) Colin Wright / USA
12/06/2012 10:11
To '@' #16 'And, regarding surrender, isn't that what Arabs intended to force upon Israel, if NOT genocide, in 1948, 1967, & 1973 ??' (I) Actually, no. It was Israel that attacked first, of course, in 1967. In 1948, the Arabs were very confused about WHAT they wanted -- certainly, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria were decidedly ungenocidal in their intent. In 1973, Egypt and Israel intended to recover the lands that Israel had seized from them.

19 ) Colin Wright / USA
12/06/2012 10:14
To '@' #16 'And, regarding surrender, isn't that what Arabs intended to force upon Israel, if NOT genocide, in 1948, 1967, & 1973 ??' (II) The 'genocidal Arab' is of course yet another component of the self-serving mythology the Zionists have created to justify their own relentless and otherwise indefensible aggression. Naturally, the Arabs would like it to stop, and the Zionists to do like the Mongols and leave -- but that hardly makes them 'genocidal.'

20 ) Colin Wright / USA
12/06/2012 10:16
To '@' #16 'And, regarding surrender, isn't that what Arabs intended to force upon Israel, if NOT genocide, in 1948, 1967, & 1973 ??' (III) One might as well talk about 'genocidal Poles' or 'genocidal Russians' objecting to Nazi German aggression as speak of 'genocidal Arabs.' You people should be driven out, and you will -- but it has nothing to do with 'genocide.'

21 ) southparkbear / usa
12/06/2012 17:04
he's right these are just gossip among friends

22 ) @maan / mek
12/06/2012 20:05
i wonder how many comments wer not posted on here by ma'an.???????

23 ) @ Colin (#s 7 & 13) / Prophets, 1967 & Now
12/06/2012 21:36
7- Israel NOT providing another Settlement Freeze (even if the PLO had responded to the previous freeze) does NOT make it a "monster", and
13- Yes, the "definition of peace is one side surrenders",
or else the two sides reach a negotiated agreement !!

Further, since a negotiated agreement seems utterly impossible now,
unconditional surrender should be forced upon the PLO now,
just like it should have been forced upon the PLO & Arab invader in 1967 !!!

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