Erakat: US Silence on Palestinian Deaths is ‘Green Light’ for Israel

Published November 23rd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The Palestinians' chief peace negotiator with Israel complained Thursday that the United States' failure to condemn the killing of Palestinians was a "green light" for Israel to continue shooting. 

Head negotiator Saeb Erakat also said in an interview with Egyptian state television that the predominance of the US in the international arena, and its backing for Israel, was flawed. 

"We see that the American administration comes out with a statement condemning the death of every Israeli who dies" in the current wave of violence in Israel and the Palestinians," Erakat said. 

"But when a whole people (the Palestinians) are faced with a war of destruction, with rockets, tanks and warplanes, we don't hear a word from an American official," he said. 

"This has become a kind of green light for the Israeli government to continue its escalation of the situation," he said. 

More than 260 people have died, the vast majority of them Palestinians, in eight weeks of clashes. 

"There's something wrong with the international balance when the United States threatens to use its veto to stop the United Nations sending an international force to protect the Palestinians," he said. 

"Our strategic choice is peace, but not at any price. Israel's policy of playing around with aggression shall not be allowed to continue to push the people of the region towards chaos and violence," he said. 

Erakat also said Egypt's decision to recall its ambassador from Israel had "exposed the truth" about the Jewish state. 

"We are talking about Egypt, which is committed to the peace process, Egypt which has done everything in its capacity to sow support for real peace in the region, and now the truth about Israel and its aggression has been exposed." 

He also said he hoped a Palestinian state would be established with Jerusalem as its capital within a year – CAIRO (AFP) 



© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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