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Palestinian politicians say no to the negotiations with Israel No negotiations protest

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By Leona Vicario - October 06, 2013
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Section: [Main News] [In Pictures]
Tags: [Mustafa Bargouthi] [Peace Process] [PFLP] [DFLP]

 Photos by Julie C.

On Sunday, 6 October, some of the main Palestinian political forces gathered in the centre of Ramallah to demand that President Mahmoud Abbas halt current peace talks between Palestine and Israel.

"This is a demonstration against the negotiations, we want to stop them. These talks are acting as an umbrella which covers what Israel does on the ground," Ramzi Rabah, the leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), explained. 

This party along with the Palestinian People's Party (PPP), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Palestinian National Initiative (Al Mubadara), among other Palestinian leaders, rejected at once the resumed negotiations with Israel mainly making reference to the ongoing settlements expansion. 

"After 20 years of the Oslo Accords, it is much worse than it was. The Oslo Agreements was a big mistake with no guarantees for our activities. If at that time there was 150.000 settlers, today we have 650.000. And at the existing negotiations, they are repeating the same mistakes than in Oslo, of allowing Israel to use the negotiations as a cover for the settlements expansion," argued the leader of Al-Mubadara, Mustafa Barghouti.

The common message was that this process has nothing to do with the Palestinian agenda but with foreign interests guided by the United States, who, in the protesters' opinion, pressured Palestinians to return to negotiations 

"Regarding to the development of the talks, the communication with Israel goes to a closed way. After 20 years of the Oslo Agreements, this model of negotiations just leads to nowhere. The program of the talks is based on the occupation and not on the Palestinian needs," Rabah assured.  

"Daily, the Israeli army is taking our land and imprisoning our citizens. So what can these negotiations bring to Palestine except for harm and the loss of our rights? They do not have political or local principles. The UN resolutions should be the background of them as well as the struggle against what Israel does," Rabah resolved. 

Banners bearing mottos such as, "Kerry, who eats Palestinian shawarma, should respect the Palestinian rights," or "Obama and Kerry, dolls of Netanyahu" were held by some of the 200 demonstrators as they marched through downtown Ramallah.   

Hopeless peace process

The negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians resumed this past July after much prompting by United States Secretary of State, John Kerry. 

At that point, all Palestinian political factions but Fatah rejected the resumption of the peace process, which had been halted since 2010 due to continued Israeli settlement activity. 

Far from switching its path, in the month of August alone, the Israeli government approved the construction of more than 3000 new settler-housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Two weeks ago, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally spoke out in favour of reinforcing and expanding Israeli settlements after the killing of an Israeli soldier in Hebron.

 

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