Palestinian president Yasser Arafat said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon "does not want peace," speaking after the Israeli leader again threatened unilateral measures to separate Israel from the Palestinians.
"[Israeli Prime Minister] Sharon does not want peace; he wants to continue to build the (West Bank) wall and to conduct military operations," Arafat told journalists at his office in Ramallah.
On Monday, Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told a Likud Party convention that his plan to disengage from the Palestinians was the "best plan" for Israel from a security standpoint and that he would get it approved.
Arafat also played down the dismantlement of certain illegal Jewish settlements announced by Sharon, saying "removing one mobile home here and another one there is nothing more than a trick."
The Palestinian President's advisor, Nabil Abu Rudeina, told reporters Monday that Sharon's vision of the Palestinian state is "not new" and that the idea of temporary borders is "unaccepted" by the Palestinians.
Abu Rudeina also reiterated the need for full Israeli implementation of the "Road Map" peace plan and all relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within the borders of 1967.
For his part, Palestinian Labor Minister, Ghassan El-khatib, regarded Sharon's comments over dismantling of Jewish settlements as "deceptive".
Meanwhile, Palestinian Minister of Negotiations, Saeb Erakat, said that the Israeli Prime Minister's speech is "useless" given the facts on the ground such as the continued Jewish settlement activities as well as the construction of the so-called separation wall around West Bank cities, which greatly affects any future Palestinian state. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )