Abbas threatens to renew UN statehood bid (JERUSALEM POST) By KHALED ABU TOAMEH , HERB KEINON 04/09/12)
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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas renewed his threat on
Sunday to unilaterally seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state if
Israel did not accept his conditions for resuming the peace process.
Abbas made the threat during a meeting in his office in Ramallah with
an Israeli delegation headed by former minister and MK Yossi Beilin
Abbas told the delegation that the letter which he plans to send to
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is aimed at breaking the stalemate
in the peace process.
The Palestinians will wait for the Israeli reply before deciding on
their next options, Abbas said.
He added that there would be no resumption of the peace talks unless
Israel halted settlement activities in the West Bank and east
Jerusalem, accepted the June 4, 1967 lines as the future borders of a
Palestinian state and released Palestinian prisoners.
Abbas said that these demands would be included in his letter, which
will be delivered to Netanyahu next week.
A PA delegation headed by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is expected to
meet Netanyahu either next Tuesday or Wednesday in Jerusalem to hand
him the letter.
The Israeli delegation that met Abbas Sunday included former IDF
Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin Shahak and Meretz leader Zehava Gal- On,
and expressed its annoyance with the current stalemate in the peace
process, the PA’s Wafa news agency reported.
The agency said that Beilin and the delegation urged Abbas to address
the Israeli public directly to explain the Palestinian position
regarding the peace process and voice the Palestinians’ desire to
The Israeli government position on the diplomatic process has been
consistent for months: an immediate start to negotiations without pre-
conditions. Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry’s Diplomatic-
Security bureau, reiterated the government’s position that a peace
agreement can only come through negotiations, not unilateral actions.
In an Israel Radio interview Sunday he said that Israel’s agreements
with Egypt and Jordan, as well as its interim accords with the
Palestinians, were only reached through negotiations.
“There is no alternative to negotiation, there is no other way,” he
said, adding that a Palestinian return to the UN would not produce
Gilad also said there was no way of implementing an agreement without
the PA regaining control of Gaza.
Hamas controls the Strip.
“Our position is to enter negotiations, because that is the only way
to reach peace, but it does not mean we will give up security demands
that are critical for us,” he said.
A few days after Fayyad delivers the Palestinian letter to Israel,
Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molcho is expected to bring Israel’s
response to the Palestinians.
Israel’s letter is expected to include 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 pre-conditions
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 security arrangements.
The Netanyahu-Fayyad meeting and the anticipated exchange of letters
has breathed some life into a diplomatic process that has been
stagnant since Israeli and Palestinian officials met last in Jordan
on January 25.
The recent activity has overshadowed a scheduled meeting this
Wednesday in Washington of the Quartet principals – US Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton,
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and UN Secretary-General Ban
Kimoon. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/09/12)
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