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Palestinians will only accept talks that end occupation, establish independent state: Fatah official

Israeli Arabs take part in a protest against US President Donald Trump's so-called Middle East peace plan, Baqa al-Gharbiyye, Israel, February 1, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)

The Palestinian Fatah movement has stressed Palestine's sovereignty even though it is under occupation, hitting out at US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, after he said Palestinians must commit to negotiations with Israel, .

"Mr. Pompeo, when will you realize that our people always choose their leadership and that Palestine, although it is a state under occupation, is not a banana republic?" Munir Jaghoub, head of Fatah’s Information Department in the Office of Mobilization and Organization, said in a post on Facebook on Saturday.

In an interview with the Italian daily La Repubblica on Friday, Pompeo expressed hope that the Palestinians would join the US and commit to serious negotiations with Israel following Tel Aviv's normalization agreements with some Arab states.

When asked what was needed to do so, given that the Palestinian Authority (PA) considered the agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain void, Pompeo said, “(The Palestinians) must commit to dialogue.”

“You have to realize that dignity, self-pride and confidence in the future is an authentic Palestinian commodity,” the Fatah leader added.

He reaffirmed the Palestinians' rejection of all US-mediated plans, including the so-called Middle East peace plan, aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause, saying that peace in the region is only possible after Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied territories and recognition of Palestine’s right to establish a state on the basis of the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

“We will not talk to anyone on the ground of the so-called deal of the century, and the only dialogue we will accept must be based on international legitimacy and aims to end the occupation and establish an independent Palestinian state with East al-Quds as its capital on the borders of June 4, 1967,” he said.

The Fatah official advised Pompeo “not to compromise the Palestinian right,” adding, “Many foreign ministers and presidents came and went before you, but Palestine remained and its people maintained steadfastness in their homeland.”

In response to the US call for the replacement of the Palestinian leadership, which has strongly rejected US-sponsored agreements in favor of the Israeli regime, Jaghoub said that “the Palestinian leadership remains because it derives its legitimacy from the trust of the people, and you, your president and your administration will leave soon by the decision of the American people.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed agreements with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani in a US-brokered event hosted by President Donald Trump at the White House on September 15.

Palestinians, who seek an independent state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital view the deals as betrayal of their cause.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas protested the normalization deals with Israel, saying they will be fruitless as long as the United States and the Israeli regime do not recognize the rights of the Palestinian nation and refuse to resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees.



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