Palestinian PM wants state in two years
PALESTINE: Palestinian Prime Mminister Salam Fayyad on Monday called
on Palestinians to target the creation of their own state in two years,
without waiting for an end to the Israeli occupation.
"I urge the Palestinian people to rally around a programme aimed at
creating a state ... so that a Palestinian state becomes a reality by
the end of next year or within two years at most," he said in a speech
at Al-Quds university in Abu Dis, a West Bank suburb of Jerusalem.
He called for "all means" to be mobilised to ensure that goal is
achieved "as this would place the entire world before its responsibility
to end the occupation and allow our people to live in freedom in their
homeland and to exercise their right to self-determination."
Fayyad's keynote address was seen as a response to a June 14 speech
in which Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted the
principle of a Palestinian state but set conditions that would severely
limit its sovereignty.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks restarted in November 2007 after a
seven-year hiatus but halted again when Israel launched a deadly
military offensive in the Gaza Strip in December last year.
Fayyad said Netanyahu's speech was "more ambiguous and far less
committed" than the positions of previous Israeli governments.
"We ask the international community to press Israel to fulfil its
commitments in order to salvage the two-state solution to open the way
to peace in the region," he said.
This implies freezing settlement activity, lifting the blockade of
the Gaza Strip and ending incursions into areas controlled by the
Palestinian Authority, Fayyad said.
"The credibility of the peace process will be measured by the level
to which Israel respects its commitments," he added.
Abu Dis, West Bank, AFP