“The Arab Peace Initiative is the lowest the Arabs have gone in terms of a historical settlement with Israel,” Marwan Barghouti, a high-ranking Fatah official convicted of murder and now jailed in Israel, told Al-Monitor in a wide-ranging interview.
“The statements of the Arab ministerial delegation to Washington in regards to amending the 1967 borders and accepting the land-swap inflict great damage on the Arab stance and Palestinian rights, and stimulate the appetite of Israel for more concessions. No one is entitled to amend borders or swap land; the Palestinian people insist on Israel’s full withdrawal to the 1967 borders, in addition to removing the settlements,” he added.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been using the Peace Initiative, presented in 2002, as the basis for new talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israelis during his visits to the region.
Speaking of divisions within Palestinian society, Barghouti told Al-Monitor he believes that a reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah must be met.
“I am sure that the Palestinian people will stand up for unity and reconciliation, and, sooner or later, will oust those inciting division,” he said.
Barghouti also holds out hope that a two-state solution can be found, but warned of the consequences if it didn’t happen soon.
“If the two-state solution fails, the substitute will not be a binational one-state solution, but a persistent conflict that extends based on an existential crisis – one that does not know any middle ground.”
But in order to meet the goal of the two-state solution Barghouti said “No methods of resistance should be abandoned.”