As if the Palestinians had any other choice:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday rejected an Israeli peace proposal, which included withdrawal from 93 percent of the West Bank, because it does not provide for a contiguous Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
Nabil Abu Rdainah, Abbas’s spokesman, told the official Palestinian news agency WAFA that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s plan showed a “lack of seriousness.”
Under the proposal, Israel would return to the Palestinians 93 percent of the West Bank, plus all of the Gaza Strip, when the Palestinian Authority regains control over the Gaza Strip, which the militant group Hamas seized from forces loyal to Abbas in June 2006.
Olmert presented Abbas with the proposal as part of an agreement in principle on borders, refugees and security arrangements between Israel and a future Palestinian state.
In exchange for West Bank land that Israel would keep, Olmert proposed a 5.5 percent land swap giving the Palestinians a desert territory adjacent to the Gaza Strip.
Olmert’s proposal first emerged several months ago and was published in detail on Tuesday by Haaretz, prompting Abu Rdainah’s response.
“The Israeli proposal is not acceptable,” Abbas’s spokesman said. “The Palestinian side will only accept a Palestinian state with territorial continuity, with holy Jerusalem as its capital, without settlements, and on the June 4, 1967 boundaries.”
The longer the Israelis prevaricate, the more likely a one-state solution will become inevitable. Jerusalem must be the capital of a Palestinian state. Israel’s occupation must end, completely. And the Palestinians will never accept territory that is carved up, like Swiss cheese, with Jewish settlements.