A document leaked by Al-Jazeera TV on Sunday reveals a string of unsuccessful interactions between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian Authority, as well as a serious mistrust between the two sides.
The document, from January 15, 2010 is a summary of a meeting in Jericho between Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat and the United States diplomat David Hale.
During the meeting, Erekat complained about Netanyahu and National Security Advisor, Uzi Arad, describing incidents where he couldn’t manage to arrange a phone conversation between Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
"I called Uzi Arad before Passover and arranged a call from Abbas to Netanyahu to congratulate him. I got nothing. Come Ramadan, the feast, nothing. I called them to meet from the beginning, they kept canceling. This is Netanyahu," Erekat told Hale during the meeting.
The meeting between the two took place shortly after Netanyahu's cabinet had agreed to a 10 month freeze on West Bank settlement building.
Hale apparently pressured Erekat to renew negotiations with Israel, emphasizing to him that the U.S. government wanted to do this in a way that would honor the Palestinian viewpoint. He also told Erekat "a freeze in Jerusalem is beyond reach," saying that Netanyahu would never agree to it.
Further on in their conversation, Erekat tells Hale "Abbas will not allow Netanyahu to do to him what he did to Arafat."
"Abbas is the father of the peace camp," Erekat tells Hale. "His heart aches when he sees families thrown into the streets of Jerusalem."
He describes the Palestinian Authority desire for a state with "'67 borders with agreed swaps" and tells Hale "That is also your postion so say it."
"Israelis want the two state solution but they don't trust. They want it more than you think, sometimes more than Palestinians," Erekat says.
He mentions a paper that lays out the Palestinian Authority position on negotiations, saying "What is in that paper gives them the biggest Jerusalem in Jewish history, symbolic number of refugees return, demilitarized state… What more can I give?"
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