Sunday 22 January 2012 23:43
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'Palestinians against PA-Israel talks'
Interview with Hani al-Bassous, political analyst
Islam Times - Palestinian demonstrators have rallied in the occupied West Bank to voice opposition to fresh negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
The demonstrators said the talks between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators in Jordan must immediately stop.

The protesters are angry with the Palestinian Authority leaders who are retreating from their earlier position by returning to talks before Israel halted the construction of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Hani al-Bassous, political analyst, to share his opinion on this issue.

Following is a transcript of the interview:

Press TV: First of all, when the protesters are saying that these negotiations are taking place without Israel stopping the settlement construction is that a sign that the Palestinian Authority really has retreated from its earlier position. It had been saying that it will not enter into talks once the settlement constructions stops?

Al-Bassous: Yes of course that the Palestinian Authority did not stick to its own position as it says in the beginning. They said they will not resume any kind of political negotiations with the Israeli side unless we have a full hold to the Israeli settlements, I mean freezing all settlements activities in the West Bank.

But the Palestinian Authority is going back to negotiations now without even keeping their own position and stand. This means there has been some pressure on the Palestinian Authority and the negotiators of the Palestinian side would have to stop their own stand now. Right now they would have to go back to the Palestinian people because this situation will not satisfy the people of Palestine.

We have seen in West Bank and even in Gaza Strip most Palestinian educated people are not happy about the situation, they are not happy about the position of the Palestinian Authority going back to negotiations. Most academics and schools as in Palestine believe that this step which was taken by the Palestinian Authority of going back to negotiation is a set back and this would have a negative consequence on the Palestinian people and on the Palestinian case. Thus we are going to see in the next few days more protests, more people protesting against the Palestinian position of going back to negotiations.

Press TV: So Mr. Bassous what do you think made the Palestinian Authority then make that decision to enter into talks even if that meant retreating from its earlier position?

Al-Bassous: I think it is the main option for the Palestinian Authority is negotiation and this was stated by the head of the Palestinian Authority Mr. Mahmoud Abbas when he said many times that the only choice and the only strategy for the Palestinian Authority is negotiating with the Israeli side and despite the fact that this strategy has failed completely, failed for the past 18 years and the Palestinian Authority keep insisting on the same position.

I think at this time there was some pressure from the Jordanian government and the kingdom of king Abdullah himself in addition to the Quartet and the Palestinian Authority has been under severe pressure that it has to negotiate the Palestinian case again and I think the Palestinian Authority itself has completely even disappointed the Palestinian people by doing such thing, by taking such step despite the fact that we still at this time believe that the Palestinian reconciliation and unity has to take place and it has to take a priority. We find at the same time the Palestinian Authority do not go for the unity and reconciliation with Hamas and other Palestinian political factions and going for the negotiation with the Israeli side.

I think such situation and such procedures which are taking by the Palestinian negotiators will completely sabotage any efforts for the Palestinian unity and the Palestinian reconciliation.
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