Abbas to deliver ‘mother of all letters’ to Israel

PA president outlines the Palestinians’ conditions for resuming the peace process.

March 9, 2012 02:59
2 minute read.
PA President Abbas at Doha conference on J'lem

PA President Abbas at Doha conference on J'lem 390 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohammed Dabbous)


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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will deliver a “political letter” to Israel and a number of other countries next week outlining the Palestinians’ conditions for resuming the peace process, Azzam al-Ahmed, a member of the Fatah central committee, said on Thursday.

Ruling out the possibility that the peace talks would resume soon, Ahmed said the Palestinians were waiting to see what decisions the Quartet members – the US, EU, UN and Russia – would make during their meeting in New York next week.

“The Palestinians cannot accept the continuation of the stalemate in the peace process,” Ahmed said, without elaborating.

Earlier this week, Palestinian officials in Ramallah described Abbas’s letter to Israel as the “mother of all letters.”

They said it would hold Israel responsible for the failure of the peace process because of its insistence on building in the settlements and refusal to recognize the pre- 1967 lines as the basis for a two-state solution.

Abbas plans to send copies of his letter to the Quartet and other countries before delivering it to Israel, the officials added.

The PA reiterated on Tuesday its refusal to return to the negotiating table unless the Israeli government meets its two conditions – a full cessation of settlement construction and recognition of the June 4, 1967 lines as the future borders of a Palestinian state.

The PA stance was relayed to Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, who made a brief visit to Ramallah during which he met with Abbas and top PA officials.

Judeh came to Ramallah to urge the PA to agree to the resumption of the preliminary talks with Israel that were held earlier this year in Amman.

Following the visit, Abbas convened a meeting of the PLO Executive Committee to discuss the Jordanian request.

The committee said after the meeting that the Palestinians would pursue their efforts to win UN recognition of a Palestinian state “in the wake of the large-scale settlement construction in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank.”

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat declared on Thursday that the Palestinians wanted to resume the peace talks with Israel, but only if building in the settlements stopped.

Erekat denied that Abbas’s “mother of all letters” to Israel would include any threats. He was responding to unconfirmed reports that the letter would contain a threat to dismantle the PA and walk away from the peace process.

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