By Ma’an News Agency – 2 Nov 2009
Ramallah – Ma’an – Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi, spoke of the “serious slowdown” in the US position on the Israel-Palestine conflict in a number of recent interviews, stating that the US has succumbed to Israeli pressure regarding settlements, and the future of Jerusalem.
Ashrawi noted that this change in attitude towards Israel constitutes a reversal of the promises made by US President Barack Obama who initially stressed the importance of a settlement freeze as necessary to reopen the peace process.
Ashrawi’s comments come after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday expressed support the view that a freeze on Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank should not be a precondition for renewed negotiations.
A member of the PLO’s executive committee, Ashrawi was one of the main early proponents of the two-state solution to the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.
Ashrawi further stated that the US now deals with Israel as “a state above the legitimacy of international laws.” She went on to state that by continually standing by Israel’s side, the US is effectively placing further hurdles to overcome in bringing about a viable peace.
In addition, she stressed the importance of Palestinian unity and the need for a strong position by the leaders of the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority regarding negotiations.
Dr Ashrawi further called upon Arab states to intervene, to acknowledge their responsibility to the Palestinian question and to defend the rights of Palestinians.