‘Israeli withdrawal only way to peace with Palestine’
“Palestine will co-exist with Israel in peace only when Israelis withdraw and we sign a peace agreement,” said Dr. Nabil Shaath. “We want to be free and independent, not oppressed. And if the Israelis do not withdraw, we will continue to put all the non-violent pressure we can to get them out,” he insisted.“And if there is any violence instead of peace talks, it will be really created by the Israelis,” he added. According to Shaath, there will be no difficulties returning to peace talks. “Tomorrow Israel accepts the last decision issued in Moscow which includes stopping settlement activities and accepting resolution. The negotiations in our case are still necessary, but they need two international conditions – you stick to the terms of reference and what you agree, you implement,” he maintained.When Obama became US president there were hopes he would resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but now he is opposed to the vote.“It’s surrender to Israelis, whether he meant it to be a stab in the back or not, he surrendered to Netanyahu’s rules,” believes Shaath. He also added Palestine plans to act despite the veto of the US in the UN Security Council. “We might go to the General Assembly first, but then we will keep knocking at that door until we open it,” he said.Despite the fact that a nonmember status in the General Assembly is only symbolic, Shaath insisted Palestine needed it.“There are a lot of symbols in the world that people die for. When we become full members of all the different international organizations, it will give us more clout in facing Israel’s attempt to deepen the occupation of settlements, give us more say in determining the kind of terms that are used in negotiations when we go back to them,” he said. “The independence vote is an important step for the Palestinians, but it’s not the end of the game. It should give us more ability to defend our case,” he concluded.