An Israeli Arab MP has raised doubts on the outcome of direct talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel saying Tel Aviv’s rightist stance remains unchanged.
"I don’t see signs Benjamin Netanyahu has changed. Therefore, the expectation for a breakthrough in the peace process doesn’t exist, at least for me," Deputy Israeli Parliament (Knesset) Speaker Ahmed Tibi said in an interview with Haaretz.
He said his pessimism arose from Netanyahu’s diplomatic positions, the right-wing and very extremist composition of his cabinet and the inaction on the part of the US administration, which is hosting the talks in Washington.
"For this assessment to change there will have to be a drastic shift in Netanyahu and his surroundings and the United States will have to change the role it has been playing unsuccessfully for 17 years," Tibi went on to say.
"I can’t see any Palestinian leader signing a final agreement in which there isn’t sovereignty in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) including the holy places and al-Aqsa, and in which there is not a return of territory equal to 6,235 square kilometers, the total area of the West Bank."
"I think Netanyahu’s proposal is not to end the occupation, but rather to rearrange it," he noted.
Questioned about the consequences of a failure in the negotiations for the Palestinian Authority, Tibi said if the UN Security Council does not throw its weight behind the recognition of the establishment of a Palestinian state, there might no longer be a need for the PA.
"Then the world will have to confront once again the reality of occupier and occupied, without the PA as a mediating element."