Senior Palestinian negotiator (in doubletalk rhetoric) Nabil Shaath: “We spend 60% of our expenses on security that is not for our safety but for your protection. I have never seen a convict spend the penny they earn to protect their jailers.”
By Daniel Siryoti, Shlomo Cesana, Efrat Forsher and Israel Hayom Staff
Senior Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath warned on Thursday that “if the status quo remains, we will not be able to prevent another intifada.” Speaking to Israeli media outlets at his office in Ramallah, Shaath told reporters that a “quiet freeze [of settlement construction]” would pave the way to restarting the peace process.
Senior Palestinian negotiator and close aid to the Palestinian Authority president Nabil Shaath – Photo: AP
Shaath said that the Palestinian Authority spends immense resources on counterterror, “we spend 60 percent of our expenses on security and that is not for our own safety but for your protection. I have never seen a convict spend the penny they earn to protect their jailers … But we are doing it, because of us not because of you. Ideologically we committed ourselves to a nonviolent path and we are keeping our promise, and not to obey his highness Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, if I were in [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s place I would fire him,” Shaath said.
With regard to Netanyahu’s intentions, Shaath believes that “he is not an extreme person. He is a pragmatist. If Netanyahu was to say he is willing to sit down for negotiations on the basis of the 1967 borders we would be at the negotiating table tomorrow.”
On Thursday Israel Hayom reported that Israel’s planning bodies are proceeding with plans to expand the Itamar settlement by 538 housing units.
In addition, retroactive approval will be given to about 130 housing units that were built in the settlement without permits.
Earlier this week, while not coming out directly against his Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon — who said last week in an interview that the government does not support the two-state solution and will not allow a Palestinian state to be established inside the pre-1967 borders — Netanyahu said Monday that he would seek, together with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, “to find an opening to negotiations in which a demilitarized Palestinian state emerges which recognizes the Jewish state. And for this to occur, the government needs to act as one.”
Without mentioning Danon by name, Netanyahu said, “Building in Judea and Samaria will continue. It is continuing even today, but we have to understand what is happening around us. We have to be smart, not only right. Settlement in the main blocs do not fundamentally change our ability to reach an agreement, and the real question is whether or not there is a willingness on the other side to accept the Jewish state.”
Netanyahu spoke behind closed doors at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and officials later released some of his remarks in a statement issued to reporters. In those remarks, Netanyahu said that if negotiations with the Palestinians were entered into, they were expected to “be long and tough, but that the alternative Israel faces is a binational state, which Israel does not want.”
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=10005