Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, told Xinhua news agency over telephone that Netanyahu’s remarks on the settlement issue “are totally rejected and not accepted”.
“Netanyahu’s calls on the Palestinians to accept the presence of settlements on their lands aim at gaining a Palestinian and international legislation and recognition of keeping the illegal settlement building,” said Erekat.
The Israeli Haaretz Daily said earlier on Tuesday that Netanyahu wanted to resume the peace talks with the Palestinians as soon as possible to agree on borders of the big Israeli settlements that would be annexed to Israel within the frame of a future permanent peace agreement.
“If Netanyahu really wants peace, he has to make remarks on how to agree on borders of the two states based on the borders of 1967 and not to talk about borders of settlements,” said Erekat.
He added that the Palestinians were keeping their strategy of internationalising the Palestinian cause and trying to resolve it through the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court to implement the international law.
The Israeli daily reported that it was the first time that Netanyahu explained his readiness for resuming negotiations with the Palestinians on the fate of the big Israeli settlements and its borders.
Meanwhile, Reyad al-Malki, the Palestinian foreign affairs minister, told Voice of Palestine radio that Netanyahu’s remarks did not mean anything, but showed Netanyahu as a person who was not interested in ending the settlement.
“Netanyahu is not interested in making peace, ending settlement and accepting the establishment of a Palestinian state on the territories Israel occupied in 1967 with east Jerusalem as its capital,” said al-Malki.