Erekat slams Netanyahu’s comments as ‘public relations strategy’

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, slams statements by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and newly appointed Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman in support of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, calling them a “new public relations strategy.”

In a statement released by the PLO “Negotiations Affairs Department,” Erekat says Netanyahu is making false overtures towards peace in order “to shield Israel from having to adhere to the will of the international community and distract from its continued settler-colonial policies and rejectionist positions.”

“We are used to Netanyahu and his government’s inconsistencies and contradictions between words and actions,” Erekat says. “Peace must translate words into action by, first and foremost by ending the manufacture of facts on the ground, the cessation of settlement, ending the Judaization of Jerusalem, stopping extrajudicial executions, halting all demolition of homes, releasing the detention of bodies, lifting the siege, recognition of the 1967 borders, and to respect and implement the signed agreements.”

Speaking yesterday after Liberman was sworn in as defense minister, Netanyahu said, “The Arab Peace Initiative contains positive elements that could help revive constructive negotiations with the Palestinians. We are willing to negotiate with the Arab states revisions to that initiative so that it reflects the dramatic changes in our region since 2002.″

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