BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The success of an upcoming statement by the Middle East Quartet on Sunday will depend on whether it condemns Israeli settlement building, a Fatah official said.
Fatah spokesman in Europe Jamal Nazzal said Saturday that “the Quartet should realize that the aim of negotiations is to end the occupation and that settlement deepens the occupation.”
The official said that the Quartet is expected to release a statement about negotiations after a meeting in Brussels on Sunday.
The Palestinian demand that illegal settlement building stops is not a “precondition”, he said.
The issue of recognizing Israel as a “Jewish state” would probably not be included in the Quartet statement, he added, as European countries believe in the separation of state and religion.
The European Union does not recognize Israel as a Jewish state because it would contradict the principles of democracy and social equality which form a basis for European politics, Nazzal stated.
Russia, the US, United Nations and European Union — members of the diplomatic Quartet on Middle East peace — launched a bid to bring the sides back to negotiations as President Mahmoud Abbas submitted Palestine’s application for membership of the UN in September.
The proposal included a return to negotiations within a month, credible terms on borders and security in three months, and a deal by the end of 2012.
The proposal did not mention a settlement freeze.
(www.maannews.net / 08.10.2011)