Israel sabotaged talks, says Palestinian negotiator

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat (right) pictured with US Secretary of State John Kerry

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat (right) pictured with US Secretary of State John Kerry

Israel used “every tool possible in order to consolidate its apartheid regime”, a top Palestinian peace negotiator has claimed following the collapse of the peace talks.

Saeb Erekat said in a statement that “everything Israel did during the past nine months was aimed at sabotaging Palestinian and international efforts to achieve the two-state solution".

He added that the Israeli government had behaved in a way “that wants to turn occupation into annexation”.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin announced he was halting the peace talks, which began in July, following Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to sign a reconciliation agreement with terrorist organisation Hamas.

Mr Abbas responded by saying he would not consider engaging in any more talks until Israel froze settlement-building and defined its borders.

Mr Erekat's accusations that Israel "never gave the negotiations a chance to succeed" followed comments made last week by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who said Israel risked becoming an “apartheid state” if a Middle East peace agreement was not reached.

Mr Kerry later apologised for his comments, saying: “If I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word to describe my firm belief that the only way, in the long term, to have a Jewish state and two nations and two people living side by side in peace and security, is through a two-state solution.”

Last updated: 9:42am, April 30 2014