Quraya: Wall killing two-state plan

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Quraya has said Israel's barrier in the West Bank is killing chances of a Palestinian state.

    Quraya says he is still committed to the road map

    Quraya, on a visit to Norway on Tuesday, said he was still committed to the idea of a separate Palestinian state alongside Israel as envisioned in the US-backed peace road map and that he hoped to meet Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. 

    "If the Israelis will continue ... plundering the Palestinian territories, constructing the wall and put the Palestinians inside the wall, they kill the two-state solution," Quraya said. 

    "We are still committed to the two-state solution but if they will kill this, then the Palestinians, they have to look to other choices," he told reporters in Oslo. 

    One state

    "Maybe the choice ... about one state will be the solution."   Quraya has previously suggested Palestinians seek a single state with Israel if Sharon's government continues to build the barrier it says will keep out bombers. 

    But Israeli leaders say a single state between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean, adding 3.5 million Palestinians to an Israeli Arab population of one million, would spell "demographic suicide" for the six million Jews living in Israel. 

    Washington has dismissed the one-state idea, saying the two-state solution is the only way forward in the Middle East. 

    The International Court of Justice is investigating the legality of the wall. Quraya said the barrier was "annexing" Palestinian territory, forcing him to scramble around for other options, such as a single state. 

    Wall legality

    The International Court of Justice
    is investigating the barrier case

    "When you close a door you have to open another door, or when you close that door you have to see what you can do to the windows. This is the way. This is politics," Quraya said. 

    Quraya, who had talks with Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik during a two-day visit to Norway, said the Oslo peace accord, which he helped secretly negotiate in the Norwegian capital in 1993, was still alive. 

    "The Oslo accord is still in good health and is the basis for what remains of the relation between the Israelis and the Palestinians," he said, calling on the West to help get the road map peace plan back on track. 

    "I mean the United States, Europe, Russia and the United Nations, they initiated this initiative, they said they stood behind it," Quraya said. 

    "I hope that now, at the moment, they will re-activate or revive the road map and put in on track. This is in their hands," he added. 

    SOURCE: Reuters


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