Palestinian Prime Minister to meet with Netanyahu Tuesday (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Avi Issacharoff and Barak Ravid 04/17/12)
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Salam Fayyad will present Netanyahu with a missive from Palestinian
President Abbas, delineating the Palestinian demands for returning to
the negotiating table.
A delegation headed by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will
meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem
Tuesday afternoon and will present the Israeli premier with a missive
from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the stalled
Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator, who is expected to attend
Tuesday meeting, told the United Nations envoy to the Middle East,
Robert Serry, that the meeting’s goal is merely transferring Abbas’s
message and that what is important is what happens afterwards.
In the missive, Abbas is expected to charge Netanyahu with draining
the Palestinian Authority of all authority it gained in the
agreements Israel and the PLO signed over the years. The message will
stress that the current situation is unbearable and will demand that
Netanyahu freeze all settlement construction and express publicly his
willingness to negotiate on the basis of the 1967 borders.
Abbas will also demand that Netanyahu release Palestinian prisoners
and return the situation in Area A to the way it was before September
2000, when the PA had full authority over civil and security-related
matters. This would mean that the Israeli Defense Forces would stop
entering Palestinian cities.
Palestinians: Willing to resume negotiations if demands are met
Abbas is expected to stress that he is willing to resume the
negotiations immediately, once Israel accepts these demands. Abbas
will stress that he opposes any and all violence and expects Israel
in its turn to understand that settlement expansion erodes
Palestinian faith in Israel’s intentions to reach a peaceful
settlement with the Palestinians.
If Israel is interested in a Palestinian state why is it building on
its territory, Abbas is expected to ask.
Around Netanyahu expectations from the meeting are low. Netanyahu’s
advisers refused to divulge any information about the meeting,
including its time and place. At this time there is no intention of
opening any part of the meeting to the media. Apparently, the
Palestinians will hold their own press conference once they return to
According to persons close to Netanyahu, the Israeli premier will
stress that he is interested in personally meeting with Abbas as soon
The sides are expected to set a date for a follow-up meeting, in
Ramallah, between Netanyahu´s envoy Yitzhak Molcho and President
Abbas. At this meeting Molcho will give Abbas Netanyahu’s response,
which will include Netanyahu’s position on the Palestinian State’s
borders and the security measures Israel will demand as a part of the
final settlement with the Palestinians.
Fayyad: a reluctant messenger
Fayyad, who opposes the move, will attend the meeting because of
heavy pressure from Abbas. According to a European diplomat and two
senior Israeli officials, Fayyad recently stated in closed talks that
transferring the missive to Netanyahu is worthless and is only a
During the past week Fayyad tried to get out of heading the
delegation. But after a number of telephone conversations with
Abbas, who is currently overseas visiting several Asian countries, he
agreed to take part.
Saeb Erekat denied any discord between Fayyad and Abbas over the
move, saying that Fayyad will head the delegation as planned. (©
Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 04/17/12)
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