Erekat: Palestinian Authority Cannot Exist Without Independent State

According to Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat if the United States continues to stymie the Palestinian efforts to get a state recognized by the United Nations, the Palestinian Authority should be dismantled.

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Barak Ravid
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ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat vigorously condemned both Israel and the United States during a briefing to over 90 Palestinian envoys in Istanbul on Sunday, saying the Oslo process was on the verge of failure.

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PA President Mahmoud Abbas and negotiator Saeb Erekat in Cairo on February 6, 2010.Credit: AP

Erekat said that if the United States continued to stymie the Palestinian efforts to get a state recognized by the United Nations, the Palestinian Authority should be dismantled.

"[PA President Mahmoud Abbas] should throw the keys in their faces," Erekat said.

The conference of Palestinian representatives that has been taking place during the past few days is part of the PA's preparation for the expected vote in the UN General Assembly in September to recognize "Palestine," based on the pre-1967 borders, as a state that will not be a full UN member.

"If the United States wants the Palestinian Authority to continue to exist, then the price is the establishment of a Palestinian state in keeping with the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital," Erekat told the envoys, according to a transcript of his remarks that appeared in the Al-Ayam newspaper.

"But if the United States vetoes accepting Palestine to the United Nations in the Security Council, uses its financial aid to the PA as political blackmail and leaves Israel as the source of authority, then in my opinion, the PA must cease to exist."

Haaretz revealed Monday that National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror was weighing the cancellation of the Oslo Accords after the UN vote, as a response to the Palestinians' unilateral moves.

Erekat responded by saying "Israel's actions in the field effectively canceled Oslo years ago," and told the emissaries that the entire 20-year peace process with Israel should be reevaluated.

"The Palestinian Authority has a mission called independence," Erekat said. "If the PA cannot achieve independence, it's better that it didn't exist at all."



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