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Heated Jerusalem peace talks end in impasse
Published Thursday 03/04/2014 (updated) 06/04/2014 11:43
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JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- A long and heated meeting between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators in Jerusalem ended early Thursday without any signs of bringing both sides back to the negotiating table.

Palestinian sources told Ma'an that the nine-hour meeting with US Special Envoy Martin Indyk was attended by PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat, Head of Palestinian intelligence Majid Faraj, and Israeli negotiators Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho.

The sources described the meeting as a "fierce political battle", with Martin Indyk struggling to control heated exchanges between both sides.

Erekat reportedly told the Israeli side that "we are here to negotiate in the name of the UN-recognized State of Palestine, not in the name of a Palestinian Authority whose inputs and outputs are controlled by Israel."

Israeli negotiators responded by threatening to put "endless" sanctions on the Palestinians, the sources said.

During the heated exchanges, US special envoy Martin Indyk reiterated his support for Israel's security.

Majid Faraj responded by stressing that the Palestinians were there for "political, not security" talks and to negotiate about Jerusalem as the future capital of an independent Palestinian state.

Erekat responded to Israeli threats of sanctions by saying the PLO would go after Israeli officials as "war criminals" in international institutions.

US Secretary of State John Kerry phoned President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday as peace talks appeared to have reached an impasse over Israel's refusal to free prisoners.

A day earlier, Abbas said he had begun steps to join several UN agencies and ratify international treaties after Israel failed to release a final group of pre-Oslo Palestinian prisoners.

The announcement was a blow to Kerry's frenetic efforts to resolve the dispute over Palestinian prisoners and find a way to extend the fragile peace talks beyond a looming April 29 deadline.

In July, the PLO agreed to postpone accession to international bodies in exchange for the release of 104 Palestinians prisoners jailed before the Oslo Accords.

"Since Israel failed to release the last group of prisoners, the State of Palestine is no longer obliged to postpone its rights to accede to multilateral treaties and conventions," the PLO said in a statement Wednesday.

"Despite the escalation of oppressive Israeli policies such as the killing of Palestinian civilians, settlement construction, raids on vulnerable communities, arbitrary arrests and detentions, home demolitions and the removal of residency rights, we remained committed to the negotiations process and supported US efforts," it added.
1 ) Rami / Palestine
03/04/2014 14:26
Quote of the year: "we are here to negotiate in the name of the UN-recognized State of Palestine, not in the name of a Palestinian Authority whose inputs and outputs are controlled by Israel."

2 ) Jossef / USA
03/04/2014 17:29
Saeb Erekat never cease to come up with bombastic meaningless statements; he outdid himself with "we are here to negotiate in the name of the UN-recognized State of Palestine." While the PA received a UN recognition as observer, there is no UN recognition State of Palestine. Moreover, the PA (and the PLO) do not even control or represent Gaza , how can they pretend to represent a Palestinian State.

3 ) STS / USA
03/04/2014 17:39
These negotiations will fail because the Palestinians do not want peace. Their leadership has not prepared its people, the children are educated to hate and demand all of Israeli land, to deny Jewish connection to the land and to believe they (the Palestinians) have a history of thousands of years in this land. you can't build a positive relationship on lies.

4 ) betz55 / USA
03/04/2014 17:49

5 ) Tibi / Tubas
03/04/2014 18:20
Both the Israel PM and Abbas are showing leadership, and
Neither will ever surrender to the others demands, and
the Next set of Leaders will probably the same or worse,
so Obviously A Palestinian State Will Never Be Created !!

6 ) Paul/ / UK
03/04/2014 18:23
No Matter how many detainees are released it will never be enough to please the Palastinians. They are not true negotiators, whatever is agreed today will be withdrawn tomorrow for some fanciful whim. Why sit down to talk they do not want peace, they want the whole cake and nothing but the whole

7 ) Rondo Mondo / Canada
03/04/2014 18:48
I hope Livni follows through with endless sanctions on the Palestinians so they understand how equitably and generously Israel has treated them so far in this conflict. No other country in the whole world facing similar circumstances as Israel has acted in such a restrained manner and acted so generously in supporting the people of its enemy. May the US Congress follow suit with endless sanctions of their own against the Palestinians.

8 ) Elliot / Scotland
03/04/2014 20:01
The state if Palestine had never existed in the history of the world and the way this lot are messing up it never will Free Israel

9 ) Arnold / Canada
03/04/2014 22:41
Read my lips- Peace is not possible because nobody wants to give in. The only chance for peace is following an all out conflagration ...... in layman's terms. WAR. When the bodies pile up and the people cry out to stop the war then there can be peace.

10 ) HaroldT / Canada
04/04/2014 04:01
When is Israel going to take Abbas and his henchmen to the international criminal court in The Hague for their sponsorship of terrorism ? Israeli's wake up !!

11 ) ian / australia
04/04/2014 04:55
I gotta add to favourites more. There was a classic racist brain-snap by Arnold / Canada directed at Rami (IIRC) which now I can't find. But Israel supporters like Brian and Arnold are like the canary in the mineshaft, the litmus test, showing how things are going in Team Israel. And with Brian unravelling lately and Arnold's outburst (possibly removed; possibly actionable in Canada) it's not going great. What they're happiest with is Palestinians throwing petrol bombs, killing babies in cars

12 ) ian / australia
04/04/2014 04:56
(contd.) with rocks, stabbing sleeping child-soldiers and attacking guards, grabbing their weapons etc. because then they can say, "Look! Arabs are violent and irrational. They're animals and want to destroy us!" (the gist of Arnold's rich thought). So when the Palestinians do what, as a sovereign state, they're perfectly entitled to do, ie. apply to join international conventions, Brian and Arnold (et al.) descend into nervous apoplexy. It's interesting. The unhinging. The desperation.

13 ) ian / australia
04/04/2014 04:56
(contd.) The panic. One looks on in pity more than contempt.

14 ) Jafar M. Ramini / UK
04/04/2014 10:21
Has the Palestinian Authority at last recognized it's weak and compromised position? Is Mr Abbas about to embark on a course that will redeem some of his tattered reputation and that of PLO? Are we about to experience TRUE and serious resistance to the occupation? All these questions will be answered when the PA is dissolved and PLO: 1) Invite all Palestinian factions to unite as one including Hamas. 2) Stop collaborating with Israel 3) Take Israel to ICC. Failing that all is smoke and mirrors.
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