Abbas: We were willing to negotiate during Cast Lead
By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
December 19, 2010 13:45
Israel and the Palestinians came closer than had previously been thought to reaching an agreement when Ehud Olmert was prime minister, Palestinian Authority chair Mahmoud Abbas revealed on Sunday to a delegation of left-wing politicians and activists at the Mukata compound in Ramallah that was organized by the Geneva Initiative.
Abbas revealed that he and Olmert had finalized an agreement on security issues which was approved by the Bush administration, Olmert himself, and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. He said the document remains in the possession of the US National Security Council.
On borders, Abbas said that he had a difference of opinion with Olmert about whether a proposed land swap would comprise 6.5% of the West Bank territory as Olmert wanted, or 1.9% which he had offered. Abbas revealed for the first time that he was willing to continue the talks about how to bridge the gap despite the fact that Operation Cast Lead had begun, but the Olmert administration refused.