Palestinians: Israel must accept 1967 border as basis for negotiations

Palestinian officials said they would not resume peace negotiations unless Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepts President Obama’s 1967 border guidelines.

“If Netanyahu agrees, we shall turn over a new leaf. If he doesn’t then there is no point talking about a peace process. We’re saying it loud and clear,” Saeb Erekat was quoted as saying Sunday in Ynet.

Erekat, a member of P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party central committee and chief Palestinian negotiator, repeated similar statements to the KUNA Kuwaiti news agency and others, some rebroadcast on Israel Radio.

“Once Netanyahu says that the negotiations will lead to a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, then everything will be set,” Erekat said according to Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Erekat said that Israel showed it had rejected Obama’s premise of negotiation from the 1967 borders when it approved the construction of 1,500 housing units in eastern Jerusalem a day before Netanyahu left for the United States.

Obama and Netanyahu are both set to speak this week before the United States pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. On May 19, in a speech at the State Department on his Middle East policy, Obama called for peace negotiations on the basis of the 1967 borders with mutually agreed upon land swaps.