International Quartet fails to reach deal to revive Mideast peace process

Erekat urges U.S. to reconsider position regarding Palestinian statehood recognition in Sept.

Palestinian Authority accuses U.S. House of being fully biased in favor of Israel

Arab League: Palestinian reconciliation has not failed

62% of polled Israelis believe region conflict must be ended

The Palestinian leadership on Tuesday expressed frustration hours after the International Quartet Committee for peace in the Middle East ended its meeting in Washington, and called for an emergency meeting to review the final outcomes of the meeting.

The Quartet, which comprises the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, held a meeting in Washington on Monday to discuss the stalled peace process in the Middle East. The Quartet hasn't come out with a final statement, but called for the unconditioned resumption of the talks.

A senior Palestinian official, who spoke in condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that the Palestinian leadership will hold an important emergency meeting in Ramallah later on Tuesday to discuss the latest developments and the international efforts to resume the stalled peace talks with Israel.

The official considered the fact that the Quartet hadn't issued any final statement after the meeting is "a despair and a frustration to the Palestinians, who are looking for a serious and practical stance concerning a fair solution based on the principle of the two-state solution."

"Not issuing a statement shows that the disagreements in the Quartet are large and also shows how serious the stalemate in the peace process is. This shows that the Quartet is disable to compel Israel to halting settlement and accept the principle of the two- state solution," said the official.

Meanwhile, Hana Amira, a member of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee told Xinhua that the Palestinians are waiting for the arrival of the Quartet's envoys to look closely at the international position and to decide the future of the peace process.

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told a news conference in Ramallah after talks with visiting President of Greece Karolos Papoulias that not issuing a final statement on the situation of the stalled Middle East peace process "is a negative index."

"Not issuing a statement is a negative index and shows that the members of the Quartet are disputing," Abbas said, "We want them to reach consensus in order to resume the peace talks."

If the Quartet agrees on the issues of settlement and borders, "we will go back to the negotiations, but in case the Quartet disagrees on these two issues, we will apply to the United Nations," said Abbas.

Abbas revealed that the Arab League follow up committee on Mid-east peace process will convene in Cairo on Saturday to decide on the situation, "because so far we don't know what is the position of the Arab countries on resuming talks or not and concerning the approach to the UN."

Saleh Ra'fat, another member of the PLO executive committee insisted that the Palestinian side won't get back to the negotiations with Israel without Israel's clear commitment to stop settlement activities and accepting the related international resolutions.

Meanwhile, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat affirmed that the Palestinian leadership will apply to the United Nations to demand a full UN membership before the end of July.

Erekat's remarks was made in a plan he prepared and is titled " the measures to gain a full membership of the state of Palestine established on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 with east Jerusalem as its capital." The plan has been published in the Palestinian daily of al-Ayyam.

"We have to stress on demanding the membership of the statehood on the borders of 1967 with east Jerusalem as its capital, which would begin in September. September of 2011 will be the start, not the end," said Erekat.

The Palestinian Authority leadership said on Tuesday it holds the United States responsible for Israel’s “racist” policies, which it claimed had sabotaged the peace process, Reuters reported.

The Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) executive committee convened in Ramallah, after Monday’s meeting of the Quartet in Washington failed to announce any progress towards reviving peace talks.

The PLO said in a statement released after its meeting that recent developments had confirmed the need for the PA to ask the UN General Assembly for international recognition of a Palestinian state in September.

The PLO also said that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government aims to prevent any resumption of negotiations and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

“The only option facing the world today, especially the United States, is to use all tools to oblige the occupiers to halt their racist, expansionary policy,” read the statement. “The United States bears the prime responsibility for the continuation of this racist (Israeli) policy.”

During their meeting on Monday, the Quartet representatives failed to come up with a statement that summarized their discussions of ways to jump start peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

But while the PA is using the Quartet’s failure to reach an agreement as a means to pursue its unilateral statehood bid, the PA does not have the support of most of the world’s leading nations, including the U.S.

European Union parliamentarians have also expressed their opposition to the move, telling EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in a letter that the move would be “a counterproductive step we fear could set back the chances for peace.”

On the other hand, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi refused to describe the Palestinian reconciliation deal between the Fatah and Hamas factions as a failure, even as the leaders of the factions are unable to choose a prime minister for the Palestinian national unity government.

After meeting with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki, al-Arabi said they discussed all issues related to the Palestinian situation to pave the way for the Palestinian Authority (PA) president, who will attend the upcoming meeting of the Arab Committee of Peace Initiative. Al-Arabi added that the committee will support the Palestinian decision to go ask for international recognition of the Palestinian state at the United Nations in September.

Al-Malki said the Palestinians will not abandon their decision to go to the UN, despite American threats to suspend U.S. aid to Palestine. He added, “We expected American pressure to attempt to force us to abandon our quest to obtain international recognition of the Palestinian state.”

He added that the Arab committee has decided to support the controversial step regardless of American threats.

Al-Malki also mentioned the financial crisis which has his Palestine recently, demanding the Arab countries honor their commitments to Palestine to ease repercussions of the crisis.

Al-Malki called on the Arabs to support Palestinians and enable the PA to prepare for the diplomatic war to restore Palestinian rights in September.

Some 30% of Israelis believe that if the UN recognizes the State of Palestine, the Israeli government must begin negotiations with the Palestinian Authority on implementation of this decision.

At the same time 76% of Palestinians say that if the United Nations recognize the Palestinian state, the government of the West Bank should begin to seek the actual sovereignty: open a highway for free movement, police forces deployment in the class C territories (belong to Israel) and to construct its own airport in the Jordan Valley. Even if these steps will lead to clashes with the Israel Defense Forces.

Approximately, the same number of Palestinians believes that it is necessary to withdraw from under Israeli control border terminal with Allenby, separating the West Bank from Jordan.

However, more than half of Israelis, Palestinians and many more do not believe in the possibility of creating a Palestinian state in the next five years.

According to a survey conducted by the Truman Institute of with the Hebrew University, so consider 62% of Palestinians and 53% of the Israelis.

On Sunday the Palestinian Authority has formally announced its intention to appeal to the United Nations in September to obtain recognition of a Palestinian state on 1967 borders.

The statement said that the move could strengthen efforts to resume negotiations based on the Arab initiative, made by Middle East Quartet, as well as US President Barack Obama vision of the situation, which he recently announced.