Abbas warns of int'l complaint if Israel won't talk

"Israel must accept int'l legitimacy and stop construction in the settlements" Abbas says in Cairo.

April 2, 2012 21:11
2 minute read.

Mahmoud Abbas 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

If Israel is not prepared to return to the negotiating table, the Palestinian Authority will file a complaint with international bodies, PA President Mahmoud Abbas declared Monday.

“Israel must accept international legitimacy and stop construction in the settlements,” Abbas said during a ceremony in which he inaugurated a new building for the Palestinian embassy in Cairo. “There are not preconditions, but obligations which Israel must fulfill in accordance with international legitimacy. When Israel accepts these two obligations, we will be ready to return to the negotiations.” Abbas said that until now there were no signs that Israel was prepared to comply.

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He said that the Palestinians had agreed to hold indirect talks with Israel, once under the auspices of the Quartet and another under the sponsorship of Jordan, but no progress was achieved.

The PA leadership has decided to send a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu holding him responsible for undermining the PA, Abbas added.

In this letter, Abbas said, the PA leadership wrote to Netanyahu: “You have made the PA a non-authority. You have taken away from the PA all its commitments and what it was doing and supervising.

Now we have been left with nothing.” Abbas said that the letter would be sent to Netanyahu next week.

He said that PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat was scheduled to meet Tuesday with one of Netanyahu’s aides to discuss the stalled peace process.“After that, we will see what can be done,” Abbas said. “If he [Netanyahu] agrees, we would be ready to resume the talks.”

But if the Israelis are not ready to return to the negotiations, the PA will file a complaint with international bodies, he cautioned. “This is our right and we will go back to the United Nations,” said Abbas.

Abbas said that he has chosen both Israel and Hamas as partners. “Hamas are our brothers and the Israelis are our peace partners and we believe in the two-state solution,” he stressed.

He continued: “We want to build a state on the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital, next to Israel. We want two states that would live alongside each other in security and stability.

But Netanyahu does not want to hear these things. He must choose between peace and settlements. If Netanyahu wants and loves peace, he must stop the settlements.”

Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev responded by saying that the “fundamental reason” for the impasse in the diplomatic process is “the Palestinian refusal to engage in talks.” While Israel has consistently been willing to meet the Palestinians and start talks without preconditions, Regev said, the Palestinians were “placing multiple preconditions on the table that have prevented that process from moving forward.”

Regarding Abbas’s threat to file complaints against Israel in international bodies, Regev said peace “will not be achieved through one-sided resolutions in international forums, and can only be achieved through direct talks between the parties.

I don’t believe the Palestinian leadership is doing its own people a favor through its policy of avoiding talks.”

How do the Palestinians expect to make peace with Israel, Regev asked, “if they refuse to talk with Israel.” He had nothing to say about Abbas’s letter to Netanyahu, saying, “We will talk about it when we see it.”

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