´Battle of letters’ shaping up between PM, Abbas (JERUSALEM POST) By HERB KEINON 04/04/12)
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With Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas expected to
deliver a sharply-worded letter to Israel in the coming days, blaming
it for the impasse in the diplomatic process, Jerusalem is preparing
a letter of its own to present to the PA, The Jerusalem Post has
Though the final draft of the letter has not yet been completed, it
is expected to contain the following points:
• Israel is prepared for peace talks with the Palestinians where all
the core issues will be on the agenda.
• Israel places no preconditions whatsoever on entering the talks.
• An agreement reached must contain Palestinian recognition of Israel
as the nation-state of the Jewish people, and include effective
Drafting of the letter comes as Abbas has been threatening for days
to send his own letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Earlier
this week in Cairo he said the PA leadership wrote to Netanyahu, “You
have made the PA a non-authority. You have taken away from the PA all
its commitments and what it was doing and supervising. Now we have
been left with nothing.”
Netanyahu, speaking at a press conference Tuesday, denied reports
that he had refused to see a Palestinian delegation dispatched to
bring him the letter.
“I will be pleased to receive a letter from Abu Mazen [Abbas],” he
said. “I intend to relate to that letter, I think that is important.”
This “battle of the letters” is taking place a week before the
Quartet – made up of the US, EU, Russia and the UN – is scheduled to
meet in New York.
Netanyahu said at the press conference that marked the three-year
anniversary of his government that he wanted to negotiate with the
Palestinians from the first day he took office “because I don’t know
any other way to solve the problem.”
Netanyahu said bluntly that he wanted to solve the conflict
because “I don’t want a binational state.”
However, he also said that he needed to ensure the existence of the
Jewish state, and this was “not only an issue of separation, but also
an issue of security, defensible borders and preserving Israel’s
That, he said, was something that necessitated negotiation.
“There is no way to conclude negotiations if you don’t start them,
and until this time the Palestinians have chosen not to conduct
negotiations,” he said.
“I hope they will change that position in coming months. We are
willing.” (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/04/12)
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