Erekat blames Quartet for failure of peace process

JERUSALEM (JWN and agencies)—Saeb Erekat, the top Palestinian Authority negotiator, said the reason for the failure of peace talks to resume is because the Quartet of mediators (the US, UN, EU, and Russia) has failed to create the proper atmosphere.

Erekat told AFP that the Quartet had not succeeded in creating “an atmosphere suitable to relaunch negotiations.” As evidence of this, he cited Israel’s recent announcement of plans to build 800 new homes in Jerusalem.

Despite the Quartet’s protocol for renewing talks, which excludes preconditions by either side, the Palestinian Authority has declared it would return to negotiations only if Israel halts all settlement construction, including “settlements” in the city of Jerusalem.

“We are ready to discuss all final-status issues once Israel proves its seriousness and commitment by freezing all its illegal settlement construction in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially in occupied east Jerusalem,” Erekat said.