PLO: Netanyahu letter on peace a non-starter (JERUSALEM POST) By KHALED ABU TOAMEH 05/14/12)
JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-Top
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s response to Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas’s letter is vague and does not contain clear
answers regarding the central issues that hinder the resumption of
the peace process, the PA leadership said Sunday.
The announcement came following a meeting of the PLO Executive
Committee in Ramallah, whose members were briefed by Abbas on the
content of Netanyahu’s reply.
Netanyahu’s response, which was delivered to Abbas Saturday night by
Yitzhak Molcho, the prime minister’s special envoy, came in response
to a letter which Abbas sent last month.
In his letter, Abbas demanded that Israel freeze construction in the
settlements and east Jerusalem and accept the pre-1967 lines as the
future borders of a Palestinian state. He also held the Israeli
government responsible for the deadlock in the peace process.
“The Israeli response does not include clear answers about the
central issues hindering the resumption of the peace process, first
and foremost halting growing settlement activities, especially in
Jerusalem and its surroundings,” the executive committee said in a
The committee also noted that Netanyahu’s response did not include
clear answers regarding “recognition of the 1967 borders and the
release of Palestinian prisoners.”
At Sunday’s cabinet meeting Netanyahu spoke positively about the
exchange of letters.
“I hope that we will be able to advance the dialogue between the
sides in order to resume the diplomatic talks,” Netanyahu told his
Netanyahu and Abbas last met face-to-face in September 2010. The
prime minister has consistently called on the Palestinians to return
to the negotiating table without preconditions.
Condemning continued construction in settlements and east Jerusalem,
the PLO leadership called on Palestinians to mark “Nakba Day” on
Tuesday by reaffirming the “right of return” of refugees to their
original homes inside Israel.
On Monday EU Foreign Ministers are expected to issue a statement on
the peace process.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report. (© 1995-2011, The
Jerusalem Post 05/14/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY