Chief PLO Negotiator defends right of return and rejects unpublished US peace plan, visits homes of imprisoned terrorists
Headline: “Erekat: Our people adheres to its right to self-determination, independence, and return”
“PLO Executive Committee Secretary Dr. Saeb Erekat yesterday [Dec. 7, 2018] directed a political message to the administration of [US President Donald] Trump and the occupation government from the heart of the refugee camps of the homeland and the diaspora, according to which the Palestinian people wherever it is located adheres to the indisputable rights, prime among them its right to self-determination, independence, and return according to UN Resolution 194. This was for the passing of a year since the illegal [American] recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the revocation of the permanent resolution issues, including the refugee issue (apparently refers to US cutting funding to UNRWA; see note below –Ed.).
Erekat’s message was sent as part of a political tour of Bethlehem for the Christmas celebrations, which he began at the Aida refugee camp in the homeland and the Mar Elias, Dbayeh, and El Buss refugee camps in Lebanon through a conference call…
Erekat added: ‘Trump and his team are likely to propose a peace plan in order to cause the Palestinian side to reject it, and to place the responsibility for the deterioration of the situation on it. However, we stand firm that peace will only come through ending the occupation and the implementation of Palestine’s sovereignty in the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, providing a fair solution to the issue of the refugees according to UN Resolution 194, and releasing all of the prisoners.’ …
It should be noted that Erekat, Hebron District Governor [Kamel Hamid], and the accompanying delegation visited the home of prisoners Nasser Abu Sorour and Mahmoud Abu Sorour (i.e., terrorists, murdered 1 together) who are sentenced to life, and the family of the prisoner released from the occupation’s prison Jamal Nawawreh (i.e., Fatah terrorist who served 18 years, PMW was unable to verify the details of his crimes) from Bethlehem. [Erekat] emphasized that the Palestinian leadership has placed the issue of the prisoners at the top of its priorities, raises their issues, and takes care of them at the highest international levels. He also emphasized that the colonialist system of oppression and imprisonment will not continue forever and that our people will achieve its freedom.”
Saeb Erekat also serves as Fatah Central Committee member and PLO Chief Negotiator.
UN Resolution 194 (Chapter 11, Dec. 11, 1948) states that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return." Palestinian leaders argue this means that all Arabs who left Israel during the war (hundreds of thousands) and their descendants (a few million) have a "right of return" to Israel. Israel argues that the resolution only calls for a limited return and only under certain conditions, especially focusing on the words "wishing to return... and live at peace with their neighbors."
US recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel - On Dec. 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Trump added that the final borders of Jerusalem will be determined during negotiations. The US embassy was transferred from Tel Aviv and opened in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018, the anniversary of Israel's declaration of independence in 1948 according to the Gregorian calendar.
US President Donald Trump's administration announced on Aug. 31, 2018 that it was immediately cutting all $360 million of annual American funding to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East). Explaining the decision, the US State Department said, "The fundamental business model and fiscal practices that have marked UNRWA for years – tied to UNRWA’s endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries – is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years. The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation."
The move came after the US froze two planned payments to UNRWA in early January 2018 for more than $100 million, and the US administration spoke about the need to reexamine and conduct a reform of the UN body. This occurred after the PA refused to negotiate with Israel and cut diplomatic ties with America following US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Dec. 6, 2017.
Mahmoud and Nasser Abu Sorour – Palestinian terrorists who participated in planning and carrying out the assassination of Israeli security agent Haim Nachmani on Jan. 3, 1993, in Jerusalem. Each is serving life in prison.