Palestinian PM predicts independent state by August next year

Last Updated: Friday, April 2, 2010 - 18:36

Jerusalem: Citing Mahatma Gandhi, Palestinian
Premier Salam Fayyad has said his people would not tolerate
injustice after enduring decades of Israeli occupation and
predicted an independent Palestinian state by August 2011.

"The birth of a Palestinian state will be celebrated as a
day of joy by the entire community of nations," Fayyad told
Israeli daily `Ha`aretz` in an interview.

Relaying `Passover` greetings to the Jewish people, he
urged them to participate in the celebrations for the birth of
a new Palestinian state.

"The time for this baby to be born will come," the
Palestinian leader said, adding" and we estimate it will come
around 2011."

"That is our vision, and a reflection of our will to
exercise our right to live in freedom and dignity in the
country (where) we are born, along side the State of Israel in
complete harmony".

Fayyad, who does not have a strong backing on the
ground but is backed by the West, also welcomed
the announcement made by the Quartet - UN, US, EU and
Russia, two weeks ago in Moscow which supported the
Palestinian Authority`s August 2009 plan to establish
a state within 24 months.

The Palestinian Premier said his people want an
independent and sovereign state by August 2011, emphasising
that they are "not looking for a state of leftovers - a Mickey
Mouse state."

"It is the right of an oppressed nation to say
`enough`," he said, adding "No one should be expected to stand
for injustice, not least the Palestinians, who have endured
long decades of occupation."

In this context, he cited the struggle of Mahatma Gandhi
and Martin Luther King against injustice.

Fayyad and his aides hope that the state will be born
during the first term of US President Barack Obama, noting
that other American leaders tackled the conflict seriously
only toward the end of their second term.

"If for one reason or another, by August 2011 (the
plan) will have failed... I believe we will have amassed such
credit, in form of positive facts on the ground, that the
reality is bound to force itself on the political process to
produce the outcome," Fayyad told the Israeli daily.

"I envision that we will be so mature in terms of
positive facts on the ground, and along the way have grown on
our Israeli neighbours, we will have begun a process of
transformation from a concept, to a possibility, to a
reality," he stressed.


First Published: Friday, April 2, 2010 - 18:36

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