Erekat: ‘Israel is Committed to Turning Their Occupation into Annexation’

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat. (Photo: via Al Jazeera, file)

Palestine continues to fulfill all of its obligations under signed agreements with Israel despite the latter’s refusal to recognize Palestinian rights, Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said on Wednesday.

“Twenty-nine years ago, the Palestine National Council recognized Israel’s existence on 78 percent of our historic homeland, and in 1993 the Palestine Liberation Organization reaffirmed its recognition of the State of Israel,” he said in a statement.

“This historic compromise is an evidence of our commitment to achieving a genuine and lasting peace with Israel on the basis of ending its belligerent military occupation to establish our independent, sovereign and contiguous state on the internationally-recognized 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” he said.

Erekat stressed that even though Palestine continues to fulfill all of its obligations under signed agreements, Israel, on the other hand, continues to deny Palestinian rights, mainly the right to self-determination, and Palestine’s right to exist while continuing to consolidate its settlement enterprise by building more settlements and by transferring its own population to occupied Palestinian lands.

“Evidently, Israel’s commitment to turning its occupation into annexation renders the two-state solution impossible and perpetuates the systematic denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people,” he said.

The PLO official said that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly visited illegal settlements “to yet again confirm his commitment to further expand them on lands belonging to the state of Palestine” while the international community “continues to turn a blind eye to these violations.”

He said that instead of the international community trying to equate between the occupier and the occupied, it “must be clear that there’s one party violating its obligations and it is Israel.”

Erekat said Palestinian national reconciliation moves are a positive step towards achieving a just and lasting peace in the region and nobody should be allowed to spoil these efforts.

“Some in Israel and the United States have called on Hamas to recognize Israel. Instead, Israel and the United States should recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is the way to achieve the ultimate deal with the State of Israel to live side by side the State of Palestine in peace and security,” he concluded.

(Wafa, PC, Social Media)

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