PLO Erekat: Palestinian-Israeli Relations Reached Point of No Return

JERICHO, January 19, 2015 (WAFA) – Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat Monday stressed that the Palestinian-Israeli relations have reached the point of no return due to the Israel government’s imposition of collective punishment against the Palestinian people.

The Israeli government froze the transfer of around $125 million of tax revenues collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in a punitive measure over Palestinian accession to the International Criminal Court.

President Mahmoud Abbas signed letters of accession to 16 international treaties and organizations, including the ICC, after the United Nations Security Council failed to pass a Palestinian bid calling for the end of occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state within three years.

The Palestinian-Israeli relations will not remain as they once were prior to acceding to the ICC, said Erekat during a meeting with United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, American Consul General Michael Ratney, and representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, Junya Matsuura.

Erekat said that the Palestinian-Israeli relations have reached the point of no return following ongoing threats made against the Palestinian leadership and people and against international organizations, referring to Israel’s latest calls to State Parties  of the ICC to cut off funding to the tribunal, in response to its launch of a preliminary investigation into possible Israeli war crimes against Palestinians.

“The current situation [in the Palestinian territories] cannot continue,” He said.

He further stressed the need for Israel to approve the implementation of the resolutions of the 1949 Fourth Geneva conventions and their additional protocols.

“The Conventions and their Protocols call for measures to be taken to prevent or put an end to all breaches. They contain stringent rules to deal with what are known as ‘grave breaches’. Those responsible for grave breaches must be sought, tried or extradited, whatever nationality they may hold,” stated the International committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on its website.