PLO Calls on New Israeli Government to Start Serious Peace Process

RAMALLAH, January 30, 2013 (WAFA) – The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization called on the new Israeli government that will be formed as a result of Tuesday’s elections to start a serious political process in order to save the peace process.

It said in a statement issued at the conclusion of its meeting held in Ramallah on Tuesday that this, however, will require a radical change in the next Israeli government policy.

“The launch of serious political process to save the peace process requires a radical change in the policy of the next Israeli government,” said the PLO.

It stressed that this requires complete halt to settlement activities, including in East Jerusalem, release of all prisoners, acceptance of all relevant United Nations resolutions, particularly the last one admitting the State of Palestine as a non-member observer state of the General Assembly, “in order to implement the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders, including Jerusalem.”

The statement said that “If the Israeli government abandons its settlement policy and undermining the two-state solution, and engages in responsible dialogue over an alternative policy the Palestinian leadership has already stated its balanced elements, it will be the right starting point that could protect the peace process and re-launch it.”

The meeting, chaired by President Mahmoud Abbas, strongly criticized what it said was Israel’s “ethnic cleansing and settlement expansion” particularly in Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley.

The statement said: “The Government of Israel is now seeking through the expulsion of citizens from large areas in the Jordan Valley, Silwan, Hebron and other areas around Jerusalem, and through a comprehensive plan of land grab by emptying the land of its residents and planting new settlements on it to create facts that allows it to seize large parts of the West Bank to divide it geographically in order to prevent the establishment of an independent and contiguous Palestinian state on the June 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.”

It called on the people “to increase their resistance against this Israeli policy of terrorism, racism and methods of ethnic cleansing used publicly and widely.”

It called for developing models of resistance such as the model of Bab al-Shams and Bab al-Karameh.

“The Palestinian leadership and all official institutions will provide all forms of support available to every popular movement in all parts of the country in order to protect our national project and our goals of freedom and independence,” it said.

The PLO statement said “the verbal objections by key international players, particularly the United States, against the Israeli policy of discrimination and settlements, as well as obstructing the role of the UN Security Council to take concrete steps and issue a binding resolution against these policies, only encourages the extremist right-wing government of Israel to go ahead with its racist plans to steal the land from our people and their national rights affirmed by the international body.”

The meeting discussed as well Palestinian reconciliation urging the parties to move ahead on national reconciliation leading to the completion of the voter registration process in the Gaza Strip, the scheduling of elections and begin consultations to form a transitional government of competent and independent people.

It stressed the importance of holding a meeting for the committee that is supposed to look into developing the PLO. The committee is scheduled to meet in Cairo on February 9.

The PLO committee discussed as well the situation of Palestinian refugees in Syria and called for efforts to protect the refugee camps in Syria, especially Yarmouk refugee camp, against attacks and killings.

“The Executive Committee calls on all parties to spare Yarmouk refugee camp and camps in Syria the enormous suffering of military actions,” said the statement.

The statement called on “the Arab countries to implement their decisions on the provision of financial support and provide the safety net in accordance with the resolutions of the Arab summit in light of the ongoing Israeli blockade which continues the process of piracy and the withholding of Palestinian funds.”