Palestinian Authority leaders are expected to meet in Ramallah Tuesday to
discuss the second round of talks with Israel, scheduled for August 14 in
Jamal Muhaissen, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said
that the leaders would assess the outcome of the first session of the talks,
which took place in Washington last week.
He said that the PLO and Fatah
leaders would also discuss “preparations” for the second round of
Muhaissen added that the Palestinians continue to stick to their
demand that the negotiations with Israel be conducted on the basis of the
He also reiterated the Palestinians’ opposition to the
establishment of a Palestinian state with provisional borders, adding that the
talks should be concluded within nine months.
The Fatah official voiced
skepticism regarding the prospects of achieving a deal during that period and
blamed the US for failing to exert pressure on the Israeli
PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo told the Voice of
Palestine radio station that the Israeli government does not seek real
Abed Rabbo and other Palestinian officials condemned Israel’s
intention to pursue construction in settlements despite the resumption of the
He said that the negotiations were doomed to fail unless
Israel stopped plans to build new homes in settlements and east
Tayseer Khaled, member of the PLO Executive Committee, said
that the PA leadership committed a “big mistake” by agreeing to return to the
negotiating table without a freeze of settlement construction.
told the Palestine News Network that the international community would not exert
pressure on Israel to cease settlement construction “because the Palestinians
have dropped this demand, which is vital for any serious political
The PA leadership, he continued, needs to reconsider its
position because it bears responsibility for its mistakes.
sources in Ramallah said that several Palestinian factions turned down an offer
to become part of a special committee to supervise the talks with
The factions said the formation of such a committee was aimed at
“bypassing” recommendations by PLO groups not to resume the peace talks with
Israel unless the Palestinians’ demands are met, including a full cessation of
settlement construction, Israeli acceptance of the pre-1967 lines as the basis
for negotiations and the release of Palestinian prisoners.