Abbas: Palestinians to resume UN bid if no peace talks (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By DPA 07/08/12)
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The Palestinians will resume attempts to get the United Nations to
recognize a Palestinian state, if no peace talks with Israel are
forthcoming, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in remarks
broadcast Saturday night.
He told Israel´s Channel 2 News that while negotiations remained
his "first, second, and third" option, the UN bid would be pursued if
there was no horizon for peace. He did not give a timetable for the
A Palestinian bid for UN membership - in effect recognition of
Palestinian statehood - fell through last year when it became clear
that the necessary Security Council votes were lacking.
Replying in Arabic to questions posed in English, Abbas said he was
not issuing an ultimatum, and said that talks with Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu depended on the release of 123 Palestinian
prisoners who were jailed by Israel prior to the signing of the 1993
Oslo interim peace accords.
Abbas said his insistence that negotiations cannot take place unless
Israel freezes construction in its West Bank settlements and in East
Jerusalem and recognizes the 1967 borders as the basis for a
Palestinian state, were not pre-conditions.
Instead, he said, his position on the settlements was the same as
that of the entire world.
Abbas said he did not accept a bi-national Israeli-Palestinian state
as a solution to the conflict, but noted that the Israeli
government´s settlement policy was making many Palestinians think
such an option was the only feasible one.
Netanyahu´s office responded to the interview by calling on Abbas "to
meet soon in order to promote the peace talks between Israel and the
"Until now, Abbas has never missed an opportunity to miss an
opportunity," prime ministerial spokesman Ofir Gendelman said,
accusing Abbas of "refusing to hold talks" even after Netanyahu "made
unprecedented steps, such as freezing construction in the
settlements." (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 07/08/12)
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