Palestinian leader Saeb Erekat says he’s proud to be named an Arab-Israeli leader after a day of televised demonstrations and a march in the Palestinian capital.
Erekat said on Sunday that he was the “most patriotic Arab leader in the Arab world.”
Erekt said that he is “proud” to be the first Arab leader to call himself an Arab and was the first Palestinian leader to be sworn in to office in the occupied territories, the capital of the West Bank.
Erakat is a member of the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, the official political arm of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
He has called for the unity government in the West Jerusalem and Gaza Strip and pledged to “fight the Jews in all the Arab states.”
Erakt was inaugurated as the new leader of the PLO on Sunday at the Fath-led parliament building.
He was sworn in by the speaker, who also took the oath of office.
The Palestinian Authority’s new president, Mahmoud Abbas, has said the Palestinian Authority will have to negotiate with Israel over borders.
The United States, which backs a two-state solution in the region, said the move by Erekt to become an Arab is “unjust and unacceptable.”
“This is the wrong move that is going to hurt us in the long run,” US State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.
“He is not doing anything that is not in the best interest of the people of Israel, and of course he has to live up to his responsibilities as the president.”
“The United Nations is very concerned about this and is very supportive of him and the Palestinian people and their right to self-determination,” he said.
“He’s an important role model for the Palestinian leadership, and we think it’s important that all Arab leaders and political leaders are recognized as Arabs and recognized as legitimate leaders.”