Netanyahu to call on Abbas to return to the negotiating table (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Barak Ravid 04/04/12)
HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE
HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-Top
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to send a letter to
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in which he will call
on him to return to the negotiating table, promptly and without
A senior Israeli official said the letter would be a response to a
similar communiqué Abbas plans to relay to Netanyahu in the upcoming
The Israeli message will stress among other diplomatic statements the
Israeli willingness to resume the talks that took place in the
Jordanian capital Amman, under the aegis of the Jordanian king and
the in Quartet of Middle East peacemakers.
In his letter Netanyahu will state that Israel is willing to discuss
all core issues: borders, security arrangements, refugees, water,
settlements, and the fate of Jerusalem.
Netanyahu will write Abbas that he isn’t laying down any
preconditions to the negotiations and expects that the Palestinians
would do the same. Although Netanyahu will stress that any peace
agreement between the sides will have to include the Palestinian
recognition of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people
and their assent to appropriate security arrangements.
The senior Israeli official stated that the final draft of the letter
will only be penned once the corresponding message from Abbas will be
received in the next few days.
“Netanyahu’s letter will be a response to Abbas’s letter,” the senior
official said. “We will see what he writes and finalize our response.
At any rate, the message will be that Israel is interested and
willing to advance the negotiations with the Palestinians. The goal
is to jump start the talks and not merely exchange correspondence for
During a press conference that Netanyahu held on Tuesday to mark the
three year anniversary of his government, he stressed that the
Palestinians are those who are refusing to return to the negotiating
“We want to reach a settlement with the Palestinians because, I don’t
want a two-nation state,” Netanyahu stressed. “I also want to insure
the survival of a Jewish state. Not only separation but also security…
If the Palestinians don’t negotiate now, they will in later. I am
committed to maintaining the Jewish character of the country.”
On Tuesday, Haaretz reported that last week a secret meeting between
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and Netanyahu´s envoy
Yitzhak Molho in Jerusalem. The two have been in regular telephone
contact, but this has been their first meeting since the Amman talks
collapsed in January 26.
In the meeting, Erekat described the letter Abbas plans to send
Netanyahu in the next few days. The message, whose first drafts
included an ultimatum and serious threats to dismantle the
Palestinian Authority, had gone through gradual stages of dwindling
and softening due to American pressure, among other reasons.
The draft Erekat presented Molho, during last week’s meeting, didn’t
include a threat to dismantle the Palestinian Authority; instead it
had much weaker rhetoric. In addition, Erekat asked Molho to
coordinate a meeting between Netanyahu and a senior delegation from
the Palestinian Authority that will deliver the Palestinian message.
(© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 04/04/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY