Prime Minister Netanyahu and PA President Abbas 311 (R).
(photo credit: Jason Reed / Reuters)
Israel is working on a new incentives package to entice the Palestinians to
return to the negotiating table, an Israeli official told The Jerusalem Post on
Palestinians have refused to hold direct negotiations
with Israel until it halts West Bank settlement construction and Jewish building
in east Jerusalem.
Israel has refused to cede to that request and has
instead insisted that talks must be held without preconditions.
high-level formal negotiations were last held in September 2010.
Israel has continued to work behind the scenes to find an alternative formula
that would pave the way for the Palestinians to return to the negotiating
There have been a number of high-level international leaders who
have meet separately with both Netanyahu and Abbas in the last few
In late June, Russian President Vladimir Putin meet with both
Last week, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso
made separate visits to Netanyahu and Abbas.
US Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton met with Abbas in Paris earlier this month and is scheduled to
meet with Netanyahu on Monday during her visit to Israel. Russia, the EU, the US
and the UN are members of the Quartet, which has been heavily involved in
reviving the peace talks.
“Obviously, we want to encourage the
Palestinians to return to the negotiating table,” the official said.
official said that Israel was concerned that the Palestinians plan to make
another bid for unilateral statehood at the United Nations this coming
September. It is also upset by reports that Abbas plans to attend a conference
of non-aligned countries in Tehran at the end of next month.
“We do not
want to see the Palestinians return to a unilateral process,” said the official,
who added that the Palestinians had signed a commitment to resolve all
outstanding disputes through peaceful negotiations.
have to decide if they are on the side of pragmatism and reconciliation and
peace or are they with Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas,” the official
“The Palestinian leadership cozying up to the Iranians would be a
very negative development.”