• Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Palestinian Critics Say "Peace Talks" Only Benefit The Israeli Occupation

    Critics say a weak Palestinian leadership is continuing a two decade old so-called "Peace Process" that harms their national interests -   September 8, 13
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

    Share to Facebook Share to Twitter

    I support the Real News Network because it gives members an opportunity to make uncensored comments. - David Pear
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


    Yousef Al-Helou is a Palestinian freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker based in Gaza-Palestine. His work has been featured in a variety of media outlets including BBC, GRN, CBC Radio Canada, TV New Zealand, UN Observer, Reuters Institute, Middle East Monitor, Press TV, Al-Etejah TV, Maan News Network, Electronic Intifada, Palestine Chronicle, PNN among many others. Yousef is a Reuters journalist fellow and a UN fellow as well and took part in many speaking tours in the UK/Ireland about his work experience, reporting in a war zone. Yousef covered the infighting between Fatah and Hamas as well as the two Israeli wars on Gaza in late 2008/early 2009 and late 2012, arrival of siege-breaking boats and many other major events since 2006. Yousef runs Gaza TV News page on Facebook that has more than 49,000 followers. Currently he is working on his research about the rise of citizen journalists in Gaza and their impact of public perception of Palestine in the West.


    Palestinian Critics Say YOUSEF ALHELOU, TRNN CORRESPONDENT, GAZA: In recent days, the Palestinian Authority and Israel resumed a fresh round of negotiations to end the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the so-called two-state solution after a three-year hiatus. This sparked protests in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as hundreds of people took to the streets to voice their objection to the resumption of the so-called Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

    The talks began with the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 in what was the first face-to-face agreement between the government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization led at that time by the late Yasser Arafat. It was hoped that the Oslo accords would set up a framework that can lead to a resolution of the conflict.

    Since then, many Mideast peace conferences, meetings, endless rounds of talks, direct and indirect negotiations mediated by the American administration have failed to fulfill the aspirations of the Palestinian people, namely, self determination, an end to Israel's military occupation of the Palestinian territories, the return of Palestinian refugees, and an end to Israeli apartheid.

    UNIDENTIFIED (VOICEOVER TRANSL.): Everybody knows that Israelis are not interested in peace. They are not happy with Abbas, who made many concessions, who is working against the interests of the Palestinian people. So the Zionists are exploiting the weakness of the Palestinian Authority led by Fatah to buy time through the illusion of peace talks.

    ALHELOU: Hamas movement, which took control of Gaza in 2007, a year after it won the parliamentary elections in January 2006, says that the acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas's decision to return to the negotiating table with Israel is not representative of the will of the Palestinian people and that "Abbas" does not have the right to relinquish Palestinian national rights. This came after Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held another round of U.S.-brokered talks recently in Jerusalem.

    This also comes as Israel continues to build and expand its illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank and illegally besieging the Gaza strip since 2007.

    It is worth mentioning that Abbas said repeatedly that he will not resume negotiations if Israel will not freeze settlement construction, but he agreed to go back to peace talks while Israel is ongoing with its settlement construction.

    SAMI ABU ZUHRI, HAMAS SPOKESMAN (VOICEOVER TRANSL.): People took to the streets to express their rejection to the return of negotiations because the Palestinian negotiator is not authorized to do so. Negotiations are against our national interests, and we call the Palestinian Authority to stop these talks immediately and instead stick to our national rights.

    KHADER HABIB, PALESTINIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD LEADER (VOICEOVER TRANSL.): The vast majority of our people reject the resumption of the so-called peace talks. The return to these futile talks on part of the Palestinian Authority is totally against the consensus of the Palestinian people, and we came out to reject it and demand Palestinian negotiators to stop wasting time and making more concessions.

    ALHELOU: Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories. The Israeli government, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of Jerusalem. And while much of the international community regards the Israeli settlements illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel continues to defy all calls to halt its settlement construction and expansion policy.

    Despite the fact that the PA had previously demanded that Israel cease all settlement activities before talks can be resumed, it has bowed to American pressure to what Fatah officials said, to give a final chance for the so-called peace talks to lead to any possible major breakthrough.

    Fatah's vision for the Palestinian state is based on the strategy of national, geographic, and demographic unity for a globally-recognized Palestine.

    ATEF ABU SAIF, FATAH OFFICIAL: The Palestinian leadership decided to resume negotiation to avoid the pressure from the international community. And there was much skepticism that these negotiations would have produced something for this. The Palestinian leadership gave a limit, time limit nine months, after which we expect that if negotiation didn't produce or doesn't produce any result, then these negotiations should end forever. There is much widespread opinion among the Palestinians, including Fatah leadership as well, that negotiations are not going to produce anything, given the Israeli settlement expansion and the killing of the Kalandia Palestinian boys. So I believe the Palestinian leadership, at certain moment in the near future, will give up the idea of resuming negotiations.

    ALHELOU: Palestinians in the diaspora are calling for Palestinian National Council elections for Palestinians living in the Diaspora and in the occupied Palestinian territories.

    SAMAH SABAWI, PALESTINIAN WRITER RESIDING IN AUSTRALIA: This peace process is only there to allow for Israel to have more time to build more facts on the ground, to continue to expand on Palestinian land, while at the same time it punches the wind out of the sails of Palestinian resistance. The priorities for the Palestinian people today should be to try to build a liberation movement that is not beholden to the U.S. dollars. When you consider that the PA was forced back to negotiate with Israel because the U.S. threatened that it would cut its funding if it didn't do so, then you realize that you can't really have a liberation movement that has its own survival dependent on a very powerful ally that supports the occupation.

    ALHELOU: For their part, Palestinian left-wing factions, the Popular front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, oppose talks and demand that the Palestinian leadership act as a guardian for Palestinians and their rights.

    ZULFIQAR SWIRGO, POPULAR FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF PALESTINE (VOICEOVER TRANSL.): The returning to negotiation is a waste of time, and there is no consensus among the different Palestinian parties and people. Mr. Abbas decided to resume the so-called peace talks without consulting other bodies within the PLO.

    Halting the construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank is the first condition that should be met in order to go back to the negotiation table.

    What the current extreme Israeli government led by Netanyahu achieved when it released a number of Palestinian prisoners from its jails in order to encourage Abbas to resume talks was aimed at blackmailing the weak Palestinian leadership.

    We have tried peace talks for 20 years in the hope to [incompr.] over the military occupation of our occupied land, but what we see on the ground is more illegal settlements and colonization.

    ALHELOU: Haidar Eid, an independent political analyst, says that the past 20 years have led Palestinians nowhere. Instead, settlements have expanded and Gaza has been transformed into what some human rights organizations call the largest open-air prison.

    HAIDAR EID, INDEPENDENT POLITICAL ANALYST: I think 20 years of futile negotiations between Fatah and Israel have led us nowhere. In fact, they've led us to the expansion of the existing settlements in the West Bank and greater Jerusalem. They've led us to the erection of a monstrous apartheid wall in the West Bank and the besieging of the Gaza Strip. And I think that negotiations have only been about security of the state of Israel.

    And I think the only alternative that we can offer to the Palestinian leadership right now is a boycott, divestment, and sanctions against apartheid Israel after the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority, because the Palestinian Authority has been futile and has led us nowhere and to no liberation or sovereignty of independent Palestinian state.

    ALHELOU: Some Palestinians describe the return to negotiations as a "catastrophic option" which lasted for 20 years as the Palestinian people reaped nothing from negotiations but more harm to the Palestinian cause.

    An end to the division between Fatah and Hamas and putting the national interests above all factional considerations is demand number one for the ordinary Palestinians who do not believe the U.S.-mediated peace talks would ever bear fruit.

    Yousef Alhelou, in Gaza for The Real News Network.


    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at


    Latest Stories

    The Bundy Ranch Standoff Demonstrates Values Shared by Corporations and the Far Right
    The Resegregation of American Schools
    The Modern History of Venezuela, Why Still So Much Crime? - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (7/9)
    What Role Has Russia Played in Eastern Ukraine?
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (2/2)
    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    The Modern History of Venezuela and the Need for a Post-Oil Economy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (6/9)
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    One Percent of Environmentalists Killings Lead to Convictions
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7), Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting