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Erekat Urges Arabs to Boycott ‘US Settlers’

Erekat Urges Arabs to Boycott ‘US Settlers’

Tuesday, 4 June, 2019 - 06:15
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat looks on during a news conference following his meeting with foreign diplomats, in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

The secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat, has called on Arabs to boycott US President Donald Trump and his team, describing them as “settlers”.


“Once again, I call on our Arab brothers not to talk to this group of settlers, Kushner, Greenblatt and Friedman,” Erekat said. “What they are planning is prosperity for the settlers.”


Erekat was referring to the US envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor who is responsible for the White House’s Middle East peace plan.


The Palestinian official’s comments came in response to Kushner, who said during an interview that the Palestinians deserved “self-determination,” but he declined to support the establishment of a Palestinian state and expressed his uncertainty about their ability to govern themselves.


Kushner avoided saying explicitly whether the plan would include a two-state solution, the bedrock of US policy for decades, calling for a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with its capital in East Jerusalem.


“I do think they should have self-determination. I’m going to leave the details until we come out with the actual plan,” he told the “Axios on HBO” television program, as reported by Reuters.


Erekat’s attack on Kushner came following a visit by the US delegation to Israel to pave the way for the economic part of the US Administration’s peace plan. Israel intends to attend the US-led workshop in Bahrain in late June, but the Palestinians are boycotting it.


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for his part, gave a pessimistic assessment of the plan’s chances of success, and said that parts of it might be “unexecutable.”


He delivered his assessment of the plan’s prospects in a closed-door meeting with Jewish leaders last week, saying: “One might argue” that it is “unexecutable” and it might not “gain traction,” according to an audio recording, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.


In response, Trump told reporters in Washington: “We’re doing our best to help the Middle East to get a peace plan… I understand why (Pompeo) said that. Most people would say it can’t be done. I think it can be done.”

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