PA chairman’s deputy claims PA accepts ‘one-state solution’ but Israel doesn’t.
Elad Benari, 02/03/17 06:13
Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s deputy claimed on Wednesday that the PA accepts a “one-state solution” on the condition that everyone lives equally in the state, but Israel does not accept this.
Speaking to the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper and quoted by Middle East Monitor, Mahmoud Al-Aloul said, “We do not hastily make judgements on appearances. For example, if the one-state solution is proposed with Israel’s conditions, i.e. one state and an apartheid government, then this is rejected. However, we were the first to propose a one-state solution that is a democratic state in which everyone lives.”
“The one-state solution that we have been talking about is a democratic state in which everyone lives equally, and this is acceptable. However, we know that Israel will not accept it; there is no way they will agree to it,” claimed Al-Aloul.
“They want a purely Jewish state, that is why they are demanding that we recognize the Jewish state. We proposed a one-state solution in the past and we have no problem accepting it on our terms,” he continued.
The comments come after U.S. President Donald Trump, at his meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, would not commit to the two-state solution as the only way to solve the Israel-Arab conflict, saying he would back whatever solution the sides decide on.
“I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” said Trump. “I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one.”
Trump’s comments were welcomed by Israel but denounced by the PA, which avoided criticizing Trump and instead laid the blame directly at Netanyahu.
Despite Al-Aloul’s claims that Israel is in favor of an “apartheid state” – a claim that is repeated by many PA officials – Arabs living in Israel have the right to vote, serve in the Knesset, study in Israeli universities, share the same hospitals and public facilities, and work alongside Israeli Jews.
While accusing Israel of apartheid policies, Abbas himself has clarified that if a Palestinian state is ever established, no Jew will be allowed to set foot inside.
In his interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Aloul was also asked about the PA’s position on Trump.
“His policies are completely different to all the past American policies and therefore we are facing a mystery. It has been a disappointing introduction thus far, but we are doing our best and making efforts to overcome this,” he said.
“We communicate with him and his administration. We have contacted them directly and via Arab leaderships as well. They said they are studying the issue and we still do not know what the American policy will be like in the upcoming phase,” added Al-Aloul.