Palestinians Accuse Clinton of Being Unfair
Palestinians complained Thursday that the United States was acting unfairly towards the Palestinians by threatening to review relations and to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.
"It is not fair for a US president to blame us and threaten the Palestinian side to cut relations and aid or to move the American embassy, because we are committed to peace," speaker Ahmed Qorei told the 87-member Palestinian Legislative Council.
The United States and Israel blame Palestinian President Yasser Arafat for spoiling the Camp David summit by refusing to make compromises on east Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967.
Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told the council in the West Bank town of Ramallah that Arafat told Clinton that he would not "go down in history as having sold Jerusalem."
The two sides face a September 13th deadline for a final peace accord and the Palestinians have vowed to announce their independence when the final hour strikes, even if no peace accord has been reached by then.
Clinton, speaking on Israeli television after the summit collapsed on July 25, waved a stick at the Palestinians, threatening to review relations if they unilaterally proclaimed a state.
The US president conversely extended a carrot to Israel, stating his desire to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that would amount to giving the Jewish state international recognition for its claim that all of the holy city is its united capital.
Palestinian newspapers reported that the USAID general director in the Palestinian territories, Larry Gerber, linked the continuation of his agency's projects in the West Bank and Gaza with a retreat from the unilateral state declaration.
The US position, which Washington hopes will help keep Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's government afloat, has been criticized throughout the Arab world as biased towards Israel and inappropriate of a peace mediator - RAMALLAH (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)