Palestinian negotiator, U.S. envoy trade barbs over Mideast peace

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-11 19:58:39|Editor: mmm
Video PlayerClose

RAMALLAH, June 11 (Xinhua) -- A senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official strongly slammed the United States on Monday, saying that making just peace needs men of state not men of real estate.

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the PLO executive committee and a veteran peace negotiator, said in a statement that the current U.S. administration "plays the role of a major defender of Israel in smashing the Palestinian people's rights."

The current administration of President Donald Trump acts against the human rights of Palestinian people and violates international conventions and resolutions, said Erekat.

Jason Greenblatt, U.S. special envoy to the Middle East, criticized Erekat in an article published Sunday in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, saying Erekat is the one "who talks more without any results."

"Erekat caused many crises with his policies and his irresponsible remarks," Greenblatt wrote, adding that Erekat's recent political remarks are "provocative to incite the Palestinians and push them into rebellion instead of going to the direction of peace.

Erekat responded to Greenblatt saying "peace in the Middle East cannot be based on war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law, but to put an end to Israel's 51-year military occupation of Palestine."

"The U.S. peace plan, better known as the deal of the century, is merely the dictation of illegal policies and additional violations of international law, including the transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem," he said.

Trump administration transferred the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14 under the recognition of the city as the capital of Israel, which was met with a strong Palestinian rejection.

The Palestinians then demanded a multilateral international mechanism to sponsor the peace process with Israel, which has been stalled since 2014.