Quraya: Wall will scupper peace talks

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Quraya has said the apartheid wall that Israel is building in the West Bank will kill the US-backed peace plan.

    Palestinian Premier: Apartheid wall 'cannot prevent terror'

    His comments, reported in the Israeli press on Friday, came as Israel’s foreign minister suggested a much-delayed summit between Quraya and Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon could take place next week.

    With the "road map" plan stymied by persistent bloodshed, Sharon has hinted he will summarily evacuate some settlements and set borders along the apartheid wall, in effect annexing occupied land Palestinians seek for a state.

    "(The barrier) will kill the (peace) process. It will kill anyone who speaks of peace ... Now there is relative quiet. But the terror will start anew. The barrier cannot prevent it," Quraya was quoted by Yedioth Ahronoth, the largest Israeli newspaper, as saying.

    Controversial barrier

    Israel says the barrier of razor-wire fencing and concrete walls is meant to keep human bombers out of its cities and has already thwarted 20 such attacks in two months.

    Apartheid wall has been widely
    criticised as an obstacle to peace

    But the apartheid wall's route frequently deviates from the border well into the West Bank to incorporate illegal settlement blocs.

    Palestinians have denounced the wall as a land grab and it has drawn US criticism as prejudicial to any final peace negotiations.

    "This is not how you achieve security. This is just a way to preserve the conflict. No one in the world will accept it," Quraya said of the internationally condemned wall.

    Summit

    The controversial wall has cast a cloud over a possible summit between Quraya and his Israeli counterpart.

    Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told public radio from Washington the proposed meeting between Quraya and Ariel Sharon could take place within days.

    The meeting would “herald the resumption of talks which will enable us to know whether or not we have a real partner”, he said.

    But he rejected any Palestinian preconditions affecting the construction of the apartheid wall.

    Shalom is expected to submit to the US administration a list of measures planned by Israel to allow progress on the moribund “road map” peace plan drafted by Washington, Brussels, Moscow and the UN.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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