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PA boycotts Quartet following report that condemned Palestinian incitement to violence against Israel

Al-Hayat, newspaper (UK)  |
Headline: “The PA boycotts the Quartet”
     “The PA decided to stop dealing with the international Quartet (i.e., Middle East Quartet: US, EU, Russia, and UN) that was assembled in 2002 after the outbreak of the second Intifada (i.e., PA terror campaign 2000-2005) with the goal of revitalizing the peace process, and has started an international campaign to dismantle it. The decision, which [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas made and announced to the Fatah Central Committee and the PLO Executive Committee, came as a result of a series of Palestinian ‘disappointments’ with the committee, the last being the report from last Friday [July 1, 2016] regarding the reasons for the failure of the peace process, and the fact that it noted the Palestinian violence and incitement before noting the [Israeli] settlement[s], which the international community considers to be the main reason for the violence and the failure of the political process. Abbas stopped receiving the previous Quartet coordinator, Tony Blair, after a series of initiatives carried out by the latter that the Palestinians considered to be blatantly favoring the Israeli position. A top ranking Palestinian official told Al-Hayat that the US has the upper hand in the committee and that the last report has American fingerprints on it. He added that ‘The UN is impotent and powerless, the European Union (EU) does not have a unified voice, and while Russia is a friend of the Palestinians, it often reaches understandings and makes deals with the US regarding the whole region, and particularly Syria.’ Fatah Central Committee member Muhammad Shtayyeh said that the report deals with the symptoms and not the causes, and added: ‘The first and last reason for the failure of the political process is the settlement that is destroying the foundations of the two-state solution and not leaving any Palestinian land over which to negotiate.’ He continued: ‘If either side wishes to get the political process moving again, they must call things by their name and talk about a way to end the occupation and a date for doing so.’ He clarified that the Palestinian leadership will not deal with the Quartet, but will deal with members of the committee separately. He added: ‘We will act to assemble an international committee on the basis of different sources of authority (the French Initiative) [parentheses in source], an international committee whose goal is to end the occupation within a specific time framework by defined measures, and to immediately stop the settlement.”

Quartet report, July 1, 2016 –
The Quartet (US, EU, Russia, and UN) reiterated its position that “a negotiated two-state outcome is the only way to achieve an enduring peace that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, ends the occupation that began in 1967, and resolves all permanent status issues.” The Quartet then warned that if Israel and Palestine continue on their present course the possibility of it happening is increasingly unlikely, and listed – in this order - the three trends it believes are causing the peace process to fail:
1. Palestinian violence, terror attacks against Israeli civilians, and incitement to violence
2. Israeli settlement and denial of Palestinian development
3. Hamas arms build-up and military activity, the PA’s lack of control of the Gaza Strip, and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip
The Quartet then gave a number of recommendations to reverse these trends.

The French Initiative – A peace initiative proposed by the French PM Hollande’s government in 2015 aimed at reviving peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. A one-day summit was held in Paris on June 3, 2016, attended by foreign ministers of the US, EU countries, and several Arab countries, for the purpose of advancing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. At the end of the summit, participants issued a joint communique supporting a negotiated two-state solution and proposing an international conference before the end of the year. Israelis and Palestinians did not participate in this first summit, the purpose of which was to establish a framework for renewed negotiations between the two.