“Failure to reach a peace agreement between Palestinians and Israelis is not for lack of knowing what a just and lasting peace entails, or what steps need to be taken to achieve it. What is missing is the political will to end Israel’s occupation and recognize Palestinian rights to self-determination,”, Erakat said.

“International law and UN resolutions clearly outline how to resolve this conflict. The Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative provide a clear way forward. Israel’s political leadership now needs to make some important decisions.”

“Whether Avigdor Lieberman, Moshe Ya’alon or Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel is sending mixed messages about peace, and US efforts to restart negotiations. There is no unified approach and little coordination. This suggests that peace is not a high priority for the Israeli government,” Erakat said.

“Until Israel recognizes that the two-state solution is in its own interests, and that the current status quo of occupation Israel maintains is not, then efforts towards peace are destined to remain dead locked.”

Erakat again emphasized the importance of a settlement freeze in restoring credibility to the peace process.

“While Palestinians continue without fanfare to implement their obligations under the Road Map, Israel continues to publically drag its feet. A settlement freeze is critical to ongoing efforts to restore credibility to the peace process, and to creating an environment for negotiations. As time goes by, Israel’s intransigence does little to inspire much confidence that it is genuinely willing to take the necessary steps towards real peace.”

“The outcome of this week’s meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and US envoy George Mitchell in London will hinge on this: whether Israel wants to play a constructive role in efforts to restart negotiations, and whether it intends to be a genuine partner for peace,” Dr Erakat concluded.