A prominent source at the Palestinian Authority stated that the Israeli negotiations team, headed by Israel’s Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, does not have the power to take any decisions that could lead to a draft formula for the final status solution.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minster, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, stated on Saturday that he does not believe that a peace deal could be reached before the US President, George Bush, leaves office in January 2009.
Fayyad added that the reasons behind this belief are the ongoing Israeli settlement activities in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, in addition to the ongoing invasions and arrests.
Yet, head of the Palestinian Negotiations Team, Ahmad Qorea’, said that he believes that a peace deal could be possible before the end of the year if all parties and the international community practices serious efforts to push the pace process.
During a Saturday meeting between Qorea’ and David Walsh, assistant to the US Foreign Minister for Far East Affairs, Qorea’ stated that peace and security in the region is achieve by establishing an independent Palestinian State, with Jerusalem as its capital, and achieving a fair solution to the refugees’ issue in accordance to the international resolutions.
Qorea’ told Walsh that the ongoing Israeli assassinations, shelling and abductions practiced against the Palestinian people, and the ongoing settlement activities, the Wall, and the siege are voiding all international efforts to achieve peace, including efforts by the US President George Bush.
Qorea’ also stated that the Palestinian side is committed to the agreement reached during the Annapolis summit including implementing the first stage of the Road Map Plan, but added that the US Administration must oblige Israel to halt its settlement activities, release the detainees and allow the deported Palestinians to return.
He said that Israel must pull out of all the Palestinian controlled area which Israel invaded since September 28, 2000, and should remove all roadblocks and illegal settlement outposts, in addition to reopening all institutions it closed in Jerusalem as basic steps for trust building.
Furthermore, Qorea’ added that the residents in the Gaza Strip are facing harsh conditions due to the siege and stated that all Palestinian territories must have geographical contiguity without any obstacles.