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Independent Palestinian state round the corner: Erekat

An independent Palestine is round the corner with capital in East Jerusalem.



Jerusalem: An independent Palestine is
round the corner with capital in East Jerusalem, a top
Palestinian leader said today, buoyed by a series of
recognitions by countries, including Russia and Brazil that
has alarmed Israel.

"The (Israeli) Prime minister told us we should not
wait for the next government. However we are not waiting for
it, we are waiting for you," chief Palestinian negotiator,
Saeb Erekat said, referring to hawkish Israeli Premier
Benjamin Netanyahu.

"A Palestinian state is coming, with 1967 borders and
with a capital in east Jerusalem, and Israel cannot stop it
anymore," Erekat said during an interview with Army Radio.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev endorsed last week a
Palestinian state, saying Moscow had recognised independence
in 1988 and was not changing the position adopted by the
former Soviet Union.

When asked about PA President Mahmoud Abbas`s comments
on Friday that the failure of the peace process could lead to
an intifada, Erekat responded, "He [Abbas] is not threatening
an intifada. We want negotiations".

"We want a Palestinian state through an agreement.
But if there is no agreement or solution when September comes,
the alternative may be a type of intifada," he said.

"But for now we are searching for a partner in Israel
and we want a halt in settlement construction," Erekat
emphasised.

Israel is alarmed by a string of recognitions by Latin
American states, including Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina,
during the past two months that some analysts say could be a
precursor to a move by the Palestinians to seek full United
Nations membership if efforts to revive the moribund peace
negotiations fall through.

The close aide to Palestinian Authority (PA) President
Mahmoud Abbas also rebuffed a reported draft map prepared by
Israel`s ultra-nationalist Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
which designates a Palestinian state in provisional borders,
describing it a "joke".

Erekat asserted that nothing is happening behind the
scenes regarding peace negotiations.

"I don`t know what is happening with Israel. I don`t
understand your behaviour. We don`t have an Israeli partner
for peace," the Palestinian chief negotiator told the Radio.

Deadlock in peace talks continue since direct peace
talks between Israel and PA, initiated under US mediation on
Sept 2 last year, failed to gain momentum due to the Jewish
state`s refusal to stop building activities in the West Bank
and east Jerusalem and Palestinian demands to put a complete
moratorium on such activities.

Netanyahu had imposed a ten month temporary freeze on
constructions in the West Bank that expired on September 26
last year but has refused to extend the same despite US
pressures, succumbing to the demands of an overwhelmingly
right-wing backed coalition.

PTI

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