Qurei: Palestinians to seek ''bi-national'' state solution
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei said Thursday that Palestinians would seek what he termed a bi-national state if Israel carried out its threat to absorb parts of the West Bank.
Qurei stressed to Reuters the Palestinian people's feeling of desperation in wake of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's "unilateral plan" to impose a boundary stripping them of some territory they want for a state if peacemaking stays frozen.
Qurei, who took power in November, said the Israeli leader's "unilateralism", including the so-called barrier Israel is constructing in the West Bank, could prompt Palestinians to abandon efforts for a two-state solution to the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
"This is an apartheid solution to put the Palestinians in cantons. Who can accept this?" he told the agency.
"We will go for a one-state solution...There's no other solution. We will not hesitate to defend the rights of our people when we feel the very serious intention (of Israel) to destroy these rights."
However, Palestinian officials say that calling for a bi-national state would be used only as a last resort since it would mean dropping aspirations for their own state.
Showing maps of the barrier, Qurei said it was an attempt to "put Palestinians like chickens in cages."
"The wall is to unilaterally mark the borders, this is the intention behind the wall ... It will kill the road map and kill the two-state vision," he said.
With regards to holding a meeting with Sharon, Qurei said he would not meet the Israeli ruler until he was assured it would yield progress toward restarting the so-called "road map" for peace. "If we go out from the meeting without results, the frustration will prevail more and more and it will be a catastrophe." (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)