Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad : Palestinians seek more than a 'Facebook state'

Palestinian Prime Minister said Palestinians expect wider recognition of their statehood in 2011. -- PHOTO: AP


RAMALLAH, December 30, 2010 (KATAKAMI / THE STRAITS TIMES) — PALESTINIANS expect wider recognition of their statehood in the coming year and it will mean more than the mere ‘Facebook state’ predicted by an Israeli official, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Wednesday.

Mr Fayyad said recognition by many countries would ‘enshrine’ the Palestinians’ right to a state in all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which Israel captured along with East Jerusalem in a 1967 war.

Seventeen years of peace efforts had failed to deliver this promise, he told reporters. The current Israeli coalition’s stated commitment to a two-state solution could not be relied on ‘given the erosion that has taken place’, he said.

Jewish settlement of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem has doubled since the interim Oslo accords of 1993.

Direct peace talks revived by Washington in September after a year’s suspension collapsed within weeks. A US drive to keep the process alive via third-party talks is in limbo.

The Palestinians reject further negotiation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until Jewish settlement of West Bank land is frozen and Mr Netanyahu states clearly what size and shape of state he envisages agreeing to eventually. ‘It is very important for that to be defined,’ Mr Fayyad said.   (*)


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