JERUSALEM, Israel - Just days after the Arab League voted to give the U.S. another month to convince Israel to extend a building moratorium that would allow peace talks to continue, a senior Fatah Central Committee official declared the idea of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is finished.
Mahmoud Aloul blamed Israel's "racist policies for the failure of the peace process."
Palestinians have used this threat in the past. They say if there is no two-state solution - independent Israeli and Palestinian states - then there will have to be one state and the Arab population would soon eclipse the Jewish one, basically putting an end to the State of Israel.
Aloul's announcement followed the PA's earlier rebuff of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's offer to extend the temporary construction ban in Judea and Samaria - the West Bank - in exchange for unequivocal recognition of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.
"Because the Palestinians expect us to recognize the Palestinian state as their nation-state, we can expect them to recognize the Jewish state as our nation-state," Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu said PA recognition "would serve as a trust-building step, one that would open up a new horizon of hope and trust among broad sections of the Israeli public who, in light of the events of the past decade, have lost their confidence in the Palestinians' desire to end the conflict," he said.
The U.S. State Department supported Netanyahu's position.
"What Prime Minister Netanyahu said yesterday is, in essence, a core demand of the Israeli government, which we support," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said on Tuesday.
"The recognition that Israel is a part of the region - acceptance by the region of the existence of the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people - is what they want to see through this negotiation," Crowley said.
Tuesday's announcement that "the peace process based on the two-state solution had failed" morphed into another demand, this time from senior PA negotiator Yasser Abed Rabbo.
"We officially demand that the U.S. administration and the Israeli government provide a map of the borders of the State of Israel that they want us to recognize," Rabbo said, according to AFP.
"If this map is based on the 1967 borders and provides for the end of the Israeli occupation over all Palestinian lands…then we recognize Israel by whatever name it applies to itself in accordance with international law," he said.
From the PA's perspective, the Palestinians have just lobbed the ball back into Israel's court. But some analysts believe Israel is not in a position to play games.
Until the Palestinian Authority ends anti-Israel incitement in its schools, media and government policies, it's unlikely there will be any meaningful progress toward a two-state solution, they say.