Palestinians: Bennett exposed his ‘anti-peace’ policy
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Palestinians: Bennett exposed his ‘anti-peace’ policy

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The PA ministry accused Bennett of “disregarding” the Biden administration and international resolutions pertaining to the Israeli-Arab conflict.

It also accused him of “sabotaging” Arab and American efforts to “create a positive atmosphere for relaunching meaningful negotiations” between Israel and the Palestinians.

“It’s clear that Bennett is trying to create confusion in order to influence the priorities of the US foreign policy with the purpose of marginalizing the Palestinian issue,” the ministry charged.

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if(window.location.pathname.indexOf(“656089”) != -1){document.getElementsByClassName(“divConnatix”)[0].style.display =”none”;}else if(window.location.pathname.indexOf(“/israel-news/”) != -1){ document.getElementsByClassName(“divConnatix”)[0].style.display =”none”; var script = document.createElement(‘script’); script.src=”https://player.anyclip.com/anyclip-widget/lre-widget/prod/v1/src/lre.js”; script.setAttribute(‘pubname’,’jpostcom’); script.setAttribute(‘widgetname’,’0011r00001lcD1i_12258′); document.getElementsByClassName(‘divAnyClip’)[0].appendChild(script);}It claimed that Bennett was trying to hide his “extremist right-wing” positions by offering the Palestinians a number of gestures as part of confidence-building measures between the two sides. The gestures he is talking about are part of Israel’s obligations as an “occupying power,” the ministry argued.

“Bennett departed to the US, leaving behind occupation bulldozers that are devouring Palestinian lands for building and expanding settlements,” it said.

Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior official with the ruling Fatah faction headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said that the Palestinians were not pinning any hopes on the Bennett-Biden talks. The visit will not produce anything meaningful for the peace process, al-Ahmed said.

He called on the Arab countries and the European Union members to pressure the Biden administration to clarify its policies towards the Middle East, specifically the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Another senior Palestinian official in Ramallah said that the Palestinians were ready to return to the negotiating table with Israel, “but only under the umbrella of the United Nations and the international community.” The Palestinians, however, do not believe that the Bennett government is interested in resuming the peace talks with the Palestinians “because it includes far-right parties and politicians who are strongly opposed to the two-state solution,” the official said. “Bennett’s remarks on the eve of his visit to the US are a clear indication that the Biden administration is wasting is time by talking about the revival of the peace process and its support for the two-state solution.”

Commenting on Bennet’s statements, Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the PA’s General Authority of Civil Affairs, said: “Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Palestine, regardless of whoever admits it. Occupation and apartheid will not remain. The establishment of the Palestinian state does not require the permission of the occupation.”

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid during a cabinet meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on August 8, 2021. (credit: OHAD TZVEIGENBERG‏/POOL)

Jibril Rajoub, Secretary-General of the Fatah Central Committee, said that the Palestinians were not surprised by Bennett’s statements, which came as a “blow” to the US administration and the international community.

“Those who should be surprised are the Biden administration and the international community because these statements are a clear challenge to international resolutions,” Rajoub told the PA’s Voice of Palestine radio station.

Palestinians on Wednesday strongly denounced Naftali Bennet for his statements on the eve of his visit to the US and said that they did not expect anything to come out of the first meeting between an Israeli prime minister and President Joe Biden.

Bennett’s statements show that there is no real difference between him and his predecessor, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the according to Palestinian officials, who accused the prime minister of “sabotaging” efforts to revive the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Bennett, in an interview with The New York Times, said that there would be resolution of the conflict with the Palestinians for the foreseeable future. He said that his government will neither annex any part of the West Bank nor establish a Palestinian state.

Peace talks will not happen partly because the Palestinian leadership is fractured and rudderless, he said. “This government is a government that will make dramatic breakthroughs in the economy. Its claim to fame will not be solving the 130-year-old conflict here in Israel.”

Bennet said that the government will continue the standard policy of “natural growth” in the settlements, adding: “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It’s not the capital of other nations.”

In response, the Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry said that Bennett has “clearly and frankly exposed his anti-peace positions” on the eve of his meeting with Biden.

The ministry pointed out that Bennett affirmed ahead of his visit to Washington his opposition to a Palestinian state and his support for settlement “expansion,” as well as his refusal to hold peace talks with the Palestinians.

“These statements constitute red lines and preconditions ahead of Bennett’s meeting with Biden,” the ministry said in a statement. “This is an attempt to stave off pressure or advice from the Biden administration regarding Israeli-Palestinian relations, settlements, or any American effort to pave the way for the resumption of the peace process.”

Dimitri Diliani, spokesperson for the Democratic Reform Current headed by ousted Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan, said that as far as the Palestinians are concerned, Bennett’s visit to Washington bears “no political significance” because of the “weakness of the official Palestinian diplomatic apparatus.”

Diliani accused the PA of failing to keep the Palestinian issue at the top of the US administration’s list of priorities.

He said that Bennett’s remarks on the eve of his arrival in Washington exposed his “extremist right-wing agenda that is hostile to peace and stability.” Diliani too said that he did not expect the Bennett-Biden summit to produce anything good for the Palestinians, especially regarding the peace process with Israel.

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