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Israel succeeds in imposing facts through Annapolis

Intreview with Mustafa al Barghuthi

Friday 23 November 2007

In a press conference held in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, Dr Mustafa al Barghuthi, secretary general of the Palestinian national initiative, pre emptively stated Israel as responsible for the failure of the Annapolis peace conference. He accused Ehud Olmert and the Israeli government of misleading of the world and western public opinion in a bid to gain time to pass its plans on the ground

Referring to the construction of a third of the Separation Wall in the Jordan Valley and the construction of a forth settlement enclave in the West Bank, Al Barghuthi said that "Israel continues with imposing the resolution of a state with temporary boundaries by going on with the construction of the Separation Wall and settlements." He added that " on the eve of the Annapolis peace conference Israel succeeded in imposing further facts on the ground which are; presenting the international conference as bonus to be celebrated rather than as necessity as the Palestinians and Arabs see it; neutralizing the Arab peace initiative; substituting the immediate halt of the construction of settlements and the wall with a misleading formula declared by Olmert as a temporary freezing of the construction of new settlements which according to Al Barghuthi, Israel does no need to build more since there are 133 settlements in the West Bank.

He added that the conference will not lead to any significant progress and he proved that by not reaching any joint or framework and said that " if the Arab nation and the Palestinian leadership did not succeed in pushing Olmert to lift the embargo imposed on Gaza how would they push him to hold negotiations over the final status issues."

Dr al Barghuthi underestimated the significance of the economical projects that were declared by the Tony Blair, the envoy of the Mid East peace Quartet and said that. "what is needed to revive the Palestinian economy is to remove 838 Israeli military checkpoints and roadblocks that prevent mobility and transferring goods."

He noted that Israel had approved the sanitation project of Beit -Lahia in the Gaza Strip out of fear of its effects on the underground water sources. Dr al Barghuthi affirmed the need for the Palestinian delegation to Annapolis to hold on to the known specifications and feedbacks based on the Arab peace initiative and related International resolutions and to reject any contracting formula Israel is trying to impose as a feedback for the conference. He referred to media reports on the frame work document between the Israelis and the Palestinians and said "in this document Israel rejects to indicate to the Oslo Accords and the Arab peace initiative." affirming that Israel wants the negotiations to be excluded in the security side and the implementation of the Road map peace plan.

Translated by Manar Jibrin-IMEMC News