Palestinians want 'comprehensive' peace with Israel, negotiator says

Nov. 11, 2013 at 7:14 AM
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RAMALLAH, West Bank, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Palestinians want a comprehensive peace agreement with Israel but Israeli officials aren't interested, Palestinian negotiator Mohammed Shtayyeh said Monday.

Shtayyeh, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, said an interim peace agreement is unacceptable.

Palestinians seek "a comprehensive and final agreement that provides the requirements of justice for Palestine," the Palestine News Network quoted him as saying.

"Israel is showing Palestinians, Israelis and the rest of the international community that it is not interested in reaching a peace agreement," he said.

"[Israeli leaders] show no seriousness and deliver the message that Israel is using negotiations only as a tool to avoid international pressure while on the ground it continues its colonization plans rather than peace plans," Shtayyeh said.

Palestinians are fully committed to a two-state solution based on 1967 borders and if Israel fails to take negotiations seriously "we believe that it is better not to reach a deal than to reach a bad deal ... ," he said.

Last week, during a visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed concern about a lack of progress in peace talks with the Palestinians. He said Israel is abiding "scrupulously by the terms of the agreements and the understandings by which we launched negotiations."

The two sides have conducted about 17 meetings in Jerusalem and Jericho since peace talks were renewed.

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