Top PA negotiator floats single state as US casts doubt on Palestinian independence
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Top PA negotiator floats single state as US casts doubt on Palestinian independence

Saeb Erekat tells UK parliament speaker that Israel can't have 'apartheid regime,' will have to allow 'equal rights for everyone'

PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat in his Ramallah office, November 23, 2015. (AFP/Abbas Momani)
PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat in his Ramallah office, November 23, 2015. (AFP/Abbas Momani)

The only alternative to the creation of a Palestinian state is a one-state solution in which all Palestinians will get the right to vote, Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said Wednesday, hours after a senior White House official appeared to withdraw the US’s traditional support for a two-state solution.

“Contrary to [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s plan of one state and two systems, apartheid, the only alternative to two sovereign and democratic states on the 1967 border is one single secular and democratic state with equal rights for everyone, Christians, Muslims, and Jews, on all of historic Palestine,” Erekat said during a meeting with the speaker of the UK House of Commons, John Bercow, in Ramallah.

Erekat’s comments came a day after the White House announced that Washington will seek to broker a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, but that a two-state solution may not necessarily be the framework to bring that peace to fruition. The president will not insist on the two-state formula, the official said.

Erekat said the two-state solution constituted a “painful” compromise from the Palestinian perspective.

“As we have constantly stated, the two-state solution is a Palestinian adoption of an international formula,” Erekat, a former top peace negotiator, said. “In fact, it represents a painful and historic Palestinian compromise of recognizing Israel over 78% of historic Palestine. Today, almost six million Palestinians live under Israeli control in all of historic Palestine, while almost six million Palestinians live in exile.”

Ramallah’s official position calls for a two-state solution, with the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital.

In his meeting with Bercow, who earlier this week became the first sitting speaker of the UK parliament to visit Israel, Erekat called on London to “work toward justice for the Palestinian people, especially given the historic responsibility that the UK bears 100 years after the issuance of the Balfour Declaration,” a major diplomatic foundation for the establishment of the Jewish state.

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