Israeli International Law Expert: Yasser Arafat Promised Yitzhak Rabin that the Palestinians Would Negotiate the Final Status Issues

(Al-Jazeera) Hazem Sika interviews Alan Baker - Amb. Alan Baker, former legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians. Hazem Sika: Does the new legislation on settlements passed by the Knesset kill any chance of a two-state solution? Alan Baker: No, not at all. The whole issue of the settlements as well as the permanent status of the territories has been agreed upon with the PLO that this will be determined in negotiations. It's not even "Palestinian territories," it's "disputed territories" that the Palestinians themselves have agreed to negotiate. Sika: Under international law it's illegally occupied territory, Alan Baker, that's a fact. Baker: No, I'm sorry, you're wrong. The territories are subject to negotiations - and this is exactly what the whole aim of the two-state solution is. And if [the Palestinians] want to continue and go ahead and have this negotiation, then they should do whatever they can to encourage their own people to cooperate and come back to the negotiating table rather than try and run to the International Criminal Court which has absolutely no jurisdiction whatsoever to deal with the issue of these territories because the Palestinians aren't even a full party to the statute of the International Court. Why are the Palestinians running to the United Nations to try and establish a Palestinian state - not through the negotiating process that Yasser Arafat promised in his letter to Yitzhak Rabin? Why are the Palestinians continuing with supporting and inciting terror? Both sides are committed to negotiate the final status issues and this includes settlements and it includes Jerusalem and it includes refugees and it includes security and it includes water. All I'm saying is: Get back to the negotiating mode and stop playing around with all sorts of imaginary games that will get nowhere. Who is representing the Palestinians? Hamas or Fatah? Let the Palestinians get their act together, let them unify into a unified leadership, and then there will be somebody to negotiate with.

2017-02-10 00:00:00

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