EXCLUSIVE – Fatah Official: No Regional Peace Deal Before Palestinian State

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TEL AVIV – The Palestinian Authority should not accept a larger regional peace initiative that does not aim to create a Palestinian state, senior Fatah official and member of the movement’s Revolutionary Council, Ahmad Guneim, told Breitbart Jerusalem in an interview.

“We will not agree to pay the price of a regional peace initiative at the expense of resolving the Palestinian issue,” Guneim said, referring to reports the U.S. may seek to involve Arab countries in larger regional peace talks.

Guneim stressed that any American initiative must be based on the so-called Arab Peace Initiative.

“Of course, we are committed to and support the Arab peace initiative; the problem is that [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu wants to implement this initiative from Z to A when we insist it be implemented from A to Z, meaning to begin with a solution to the Palestinian problem and then move forward to a regional agreement.”

Guneim claimed that Trump still has no clear political initiative for Israeli-Palestinian talks, “but there’s no doubt that the president is acting with full force to adopt his own political perspective.”

“We aren’t optimistic,” he continued. “But we also aren’t hysterical. If the president wants to recruit the Arab countries to his international efforts, he has to act to put an end to the occupation. We are aware of Trump’s commitments to Israel but we hope to receive a fair president. We have no illusions, but we would like to hope he will be a pleasant surprise.”

According to the senior Palestinian official, the Palestinian split between Hamas and Fatah should not negatively affect Trump’s visit.

In response to the question of how the Palestinian Authority will respond if Hamas refuses to commit to agreements with Trump, Guneim, sounding conspiratorial, claimed “Israel created this split; it benefits from it. President Abbas enjoys all the international and Palestinian legitimacy and the world understands that this is a losing card the Israelis are trying to wave.”

Guneim did not provide any evidence that Israel “created” a Hamas-Fatah split.

Breitbart’s Aaron Klein previously exposed the Arab Peace Initiative, which was referred to in the past as the Saudi Initiative:

The Saudi Initiative, originally proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, states that Israel would receive “normal relations” with the Arab world in exchange for a full withdrawal from the entire Gaza Strip, West Bank, Golan Heights and eastern Jerusalem, which includes the Temple Mount.

The West Bank contains important Jewish biblical sites and borders central Israeli population centers, while the Golan Heights looks down on Israeli civilian zones and was twice used by Syria to mount ground invasions into the Jewish state.

The Saudi plan also demands the imposition of a non-binding U.N. resolution that calls for so-called Palestinian refugees who wish to move inside Israel to be permitted to do so at the “earliest practicable date.”

Palestinians have long demanded the “right of return” for millions of “refugees,” a formula Israeli officials across the political spectrum warn is code for Israel’s destruction by flooding the Jewish state with millions of Arabs, thereby changing its demographics.

When Arab countries attacked the Jewish state after its creation in 1948, some 725,000 Arabs living within Israel’s borders fled or were expelled from the area that became Israel. Also at that time, about 820,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries or fled following rampant persecution.

While most Jewish refugees were absorbed by Israel and other countries, the majority of Palestinian Arabs have been maintained in 59 U.N.-run camps that do not seek to settle its inhabitants elsewhere.

There are currently about 4 million Arabs who claim Palestinian refugee status with the U.N., including children and grandchildren of the original fleeing Arabs; Arabs living full-time in Jordan; and Arabs who long ago emigrated throughout the Middle East and to the West.

According to Arab sources close to the Saudi Initiative, Arab countries are willing to come to an agreement whereby Israel absorbs about 500,000 “refugees” and reaches a compensation deal with the PA for the remaining millions of Palestinians.

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