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
“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 statement.
also noted that Netanyahu’s response did not include clear answers regarding
“recognition of the 1967 borders and the release of Palestinian
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 ministers.
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.
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.
EU Foreign Ministers are expected to issue a statement on the peace
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.