Erekat:  Time for Israel to recognize right of existence for Palestine 

PNN/ Ramallah/

Statement by  PLO Secretary General, Dr. Saeb Ereka

Palestinian reconciliation advances making Peace. It’s time for Israel to abide by international law and to recognize the right of the State of Palestine to exist, Erekat says

Twenty-nine years ago, the Palestine National Council recognized Israel’s existence on 78% percent of our historic homeland, and in 1993 the Palestine Liberation Organization reaffirmed its recognition of the State of Israel. This historic compromise is an evidence of our commitment to achieving a genuine and lasting peace with Israel on the basis of ending its belligerent military occupation to establish our independent, sovereign and contiguous State on the internationally -recognized 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Palestine continues to fulfill all of its obligations under signed agreements with Israel despite its continued denial to recognize Palestinian rights, mainly our right to self-determination, and Palestine’s right to exist. In fact, Israel has been committed to consolidating its settlement enterprise by building more settlements and by transferring its own population to occupied Palestinian lands. Evidently, Israel’s commitment to turning its occupation into annexation renders the two-state solution impossible and perpetuates the systematic denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

Over the past few weeks, Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly visited illegal settlements to yet again confirm his commitment to further expand them on lands belonging to the state of Palestine. Nonetheless, the international community continues to turn a blind eye to these violations. Instead of trying to equate between the occupier and the occupied, the international community must be clear that there’s one party violating its obligations and it is Israel.

Our moves to achieve national reconciliation are a positive step towards achieving a just and lasting peace in the region and nobody should be allowed to spoil these efforts. Some in Israel and the United States have called on Hamas to recognize Israel. Instead, Israel and the United States should recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is the way to achieve the ultimate deal with the State of Israel to live side by side the State of Palestine in peace and security.