Abbas: I choose Netanyahu as my partner for peace (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Avi Issacharoff 05/01/12)
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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the Tunisian
parliament on Monday, "I choose you [Benjamin] Netanyahu as my
partner for peace. With whom else can I make peace?"
He qualified the unusual statement, however, by adding that Netanyahu
must "choose between settlements and peace."
Speaking to Tunisia´s interim parliament, Abbas reiterated his
demands from Israel: halting construction in the settlements,
recognition of the two-state solution and acceptance of the principle
of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.
Abbas expressed his willingness to return to negotiations with
Israel, but insisted that such a move would be conditional upon
Israel halting settlement construction.
He added that the Palestinian Authority´s request that the UN
recognize Palestine as an independent state would remain in effect,
and that there is no contradiction between the two processes.
Abbas also said the Palestinians had made a decision to take the
issue of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails to the UN as
well. According to Palestinian human rights groups, some 2,500
Palestinian prisoners are currently on a hunger strike.
Last month, a delegation of senior Palestinian officials met with
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, where they
presented him with a lengthy letter from Abbas calling on him to
return to the negotiating table.
Netanyahu, for his part, also called on the Palestinian leadership
last month to return to negotiations with Israel, stressing his
willingness to discuss all of the core issues in the conflict. (©
Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 05/01/12)
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