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News, March 2008


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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.


Palestinian Authority is on the verge of collapse and Fatah is losing popularity, warns Saeb Erekat

[ 21/03/2008 - 11:39 AM ]


Saeb Erekat, the PA's chief negotiator, predicted the eminent collapse of the PA because the Ramallah team tied themselves up to the "peace process" while the Israeli occupation refuses to freeze settlement building or lift the West Bank roadblocks.

Erekat warned that the PA might fall if a peace deal is not reached by the end of 2008 as was stipulated in the Annapolis conference in the USA.

He also said in a meeting with journalists in Ramallah on Thursday that the consequences of failure will not only affect Israel and the PA but will extend to the whole region.

Erekat admitted that the popularity of President Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah movement suffered a decline because of the stagnation of the peace process as was clear in recent polls.

He also said that the rejection of Israel to stop building and expanding settlements and to lift roadblocks eroded Palestinian trust in Abbas.

The PA team in Rammallah felt great disappointment as a result of the announcement of the Israeli premier Ehud Olmert that the settlement building and expansion will continue in Occupied Jerusalem as this is outside any negotiations.

Abbas however insists on every occasion that peace talks are his only option despite the fact that he admits that time is running out to reach a settlement by the end of 2008.

Erekat: PA might collapse if peace agreement is not reached in 2008

Date: 20 / 03 / 2008  Time:  09:51
Jerusalem Ma'an

The Palestine Liberation Organization's chief negotiator Saeb Erekat warned that the Palestinian Authority (PA) might collapse if a peace agreement with Israel is not reached in 2008, the Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported on Wednesday.

"If a peace agreement is not reached in 2008, we could disappear, and the repercussions will expand to the whole region," Erekat told journalists.

Erekat highlighted that the popularity of Fatah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has dropped recently because no progress has been made in the peace talks, as was revealed in a recent poll.

"People are disappointed in us, and the explanation for that is our failure to fulfill what we promised," he added.

He added that Israel's stubbornness and refusal to remove military checkpoints and halt settlement activity in the West Bank has helped reduce the credibility of Abbas and the PA amongst the Palestinian people.


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