Palestinian youth have called for a silent protest this Saturday outside the headquarters of Palestinian Authority ruler Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah to protest resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in Jordan.
A two-minute video on YouTube in Arabic juxtaposes recent speeches of Abbas vowing not to return to negotiations unless Israel halts all settlement construction on occupied Palestinian land with images and headlines of Israel’s unprecendented building spree.
Text in the video states:
On 14 January 2012, [Palestinian negotiator Saeb] Erekat meets with [Israeli government representative Yitzhak] Molcho in Jordan, to negotiate.
Because this is a red line for our dignity,
Silent protest to reflect Palestinian youth’s rejection of negotiations over rights.
14 January 2012 at 1 pm at the main entrance of the Muqataa [Palestinian Authority HQ], Ramallah
Settlement construction reaches new highs
The Israeli group Peace Now, which monitors settlement construction, recently reported that new settlement construction rose 19 percent in 2011 over the previous year, with 1,850 new units underway – the highest level in a decade.
Amman meetings aimed at “resuming direct talks”
Meanwhile, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have held several meetings in Jordan and are planning more. Jordan’s official Petra News Agency reported today:
Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said that the ongoing meetings between Palestinians and Israelis in Amman aim to pave the way for resuming direct talks on final status issues to end the conflict according to the two-state solution and in line with the framework set by the Quartet.
“Palestinians for Dignity” full statement
Statement on the Return to Negotiations
12 January, 2011
On the first anniversary of the ongoing Arab revolutions for justice, freedom and democracy, and the second anniversary of the Zionist Israeli aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip, Palestinian negotiators have again mistakenly returned to the negotiating table on January 3rd and 10th of this year. Counting on the same fruitless and failing process of the past two decades, the negotiations contradict past PLO statements that have explicitly rejected negotiations until settlement expansion is frozen, borders are clearly referenced and defined, and the fulfillment of the release of all political prisoners.
With dangerous disregard of the will and voice of the Palestinian people who have repeatedly protested these futile negotiations, failed Palestinian leadership is holding semi-clandestine meetings in Jordan.
By way of diversion, they have articulated that these meetings are merely “exploratory talks” when in fact they are negotiations to return to negotiations. Not only does this reflect the state of confusion and capriciousness on the part of the Palestinian leadership, but it also echoes its political weakness and lack of strategic vision.
While suffering daily at the hands of violent settlers, we continuously have more land swallowed by illegal colonies and an accelerated rate of the Judiaization of Jerusalem. Such negotiations have paved the way for 20 years of political subjugation and loss when their time should be spent on achieving unity and strengthening the peoples’ steadfastness to change the balance of power in favor of the Palestinian cause.
Therefore, we are calling on everyone to join us this Saturday, January 14th at 1:00 pm for a silent demonstration at the entrance of the Moqata (Irsal Street, Ramallah), to express our unequivocal refusal to these talks. Palestinian youth are fed up with illegitimate representation, a national consensus that does not unite them, and of a future state that does not guarantee the rights of the majority of the Palestinian people, in specific, Palestinian refugees in exile.
We will stand in silent protest to demand that these decision-makers adhere to the peoples’ will, withdraw immediately from these “exploratory talks,” and replace the current strategy with a strategy of resistance. We demand a strategy that is supported by political, economic, academic and cultural boycott of the Zionist entity, the strengthening of the steadfastness of the people, and preparation for direct elections to the Palestinian National Council (PNC) representative of Palestinians across the world.
Palestinians for Dignity