Israel, PA pledge commitment to peace after Ramallah parley (JERUSALEM POST) By KHALED ABU TOAMEH, TOVAH LAZAROFF 05/13/12)
JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-Top
Israel and the Palestinian Authority pledged their commitment to
peace, after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu´s envoy Yitzhak Molcho
travelled to Ramallah Saturday night to deliver a letter on his
behalf to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
A statement issued by the Prime Minister´s Office after the meeting
said, "Israel and the Palestinian Authority are committed to
achieving peace and the sides hope that the exchange of letters
between President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu will further
The letter from Netanyahu comes in response to one which Abbas sent
him last month in which he stated that talks would only be renewed
when Israel froze construction in east Jerusalem and the settlements.
This written exchange is the latest attempt to revive the frozen
peace process. The two men have not met face to face since September.
Earlier in the day Abbas received a phone call from US Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton and discussed with her the latest developments
in the region.
A PA official said that Abbas urged the US administration to
intervene with Israel to accept the demands of hundreds of
Palestinian prisoners who have been on hunger strike for the past few
Abbas also met Saturday in Ramallah with a delegation from US-based
Israel lobby group J Street and briefed it on the latest developments
surrounding the stalled peace process. During the meeting Abbas
reiterated his commitment to the peace process and the two-state
Abbas said that he would be prepared to return immediately to the
negotiating table if the Israeli government accepted the two-state
solution and agreed to freeze construction of new homes in the West
Bank settlements and east Jerusalem, the PA official said.
J Street President Jeremy Ben- Ami told The Jerusalem Post that Abbas
also spoke of the need for an upfront commitment from Israel that a
final status agreement would be based on the 1967 line with agreed
The meeting came toward the end of an eight-day J Street trip to the
region, which included a stop in Jordan and a visit with its King
According to Ben-Ami, Abbas told the delegation that he is deeply
committed to the twostate solution and is looking for a diplomatic
Ben-Ami said the impression he received from the trip is that the
window of opportunity for a two-state solution is slipping way.
“The time has come for action,” he said.
Netanyahu has consistently called on Abbas to return to the
negotiating table without preconditions.
He issued his latest call to Abbas to hold direct negotiations last
Tuesday during a joint press conference with Vice Premier Shaul
Mofaz, in which the two men announced the formation of a 94-member
national unity government.
On Friday evening UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called Netanyahu
to congratulate him on the expanded coalition.
Netanyahu also spoke on Friday evening with incoming Russian
president Dmitry Medvedev and congratulated him on his new position.
The two leaders spoke of joint activities between their countries. (©
1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/13/12)
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