According to a report by journalists Khaled Abu Toameh and Herb Keinon in the Jerusalem Post , Chief Palestinian Negotiator Sa’eb Erekat “revealed that the Palestinians have set up 14 committees consisting of more than 220 experts to prepare for the negotiations”.
The JPost article also noted that “Erekat’s comments came as the PA continued to send to Palestinians conflicting messages about the peace process. Contrary to its earlier promises, the PA has not yet addressed the Palestinian public with the same message it has been dispatching to Israelis with the help of US funding. The PA leadership seems to be more concerned with defending its decision to enter into direct talks with Israel than to convince the Palestinians to support the renewed negotiations. Last week, a PA official said the PA leadership was planning to launch a US-financed campaign to persuade Palestinians to support the peace process. However, the campaign has thus far been restricted to addressing Israelis by presenting a number of top PA leaders as Israel’s ‘partners for peace’…” This is published here.
We reported on that USAID-funded campaign in an earlier post, http://www.un-truth.com/israel/what-is-going-on-here-2″>here, published on 30 August — nearly a week ago.
In that post, we listed questions we had put directly to USAID. In response, a Tel Aviv-based USAID employee of the West Bank and Gaza program first asked me to introduce myself, and to explain why I was asking those questions. Then, he said that a USAID reply was being “drafted” — but it still has not arrived.
The same JPost article also noted that Abbas’s decision to negotiate with Israel unconditionally has drawn strong and unprecedented criticism from almost all Palestinian factions, including Fatah … With a few exceptions, the PA-funded newspapers have been ignoring the voices of the Palestinian opposition to the talks. They have also been ignoring the PA’s massive security crackdown on Hamas sympathizers in the West Bank – an operation that began following last Tuesday’s shooting attack that killed four Israelis near Kiryat Arba and that has seen the arrest of more than 300 Palestinians”.
A separate report in the JPost says that U.S. sources have stated that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will attend talks in Jerusalem on 15 September, a day after all principals will meet in Sharm ash-Sheikh on 14 September.