Abbas to meet with members of Knesset in Ramallah

Members of coalition, opposition to travel to West Bank on Wednesday to discuss overcoming crisis in peace talks.

April 15, 2014 19:39
2 minute read.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah

PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah 370 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)


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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is set to meet with members of the Knesset on Wednesday, to discuss the current crisis in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. 

A small group of Knesset MKs, including opposition and coalition members, will travel to Ramallah to meet directly with the PA president and together come up with solutions to overcome obstacles, a statement from the Labor MK Hilik Bar read.

During the meeting, Abbas is expected to present options to the MKs about extending negotiations, and will hear the MKs ideas for working through the current stall in talks.

Labor MK Hilik Bar said "the purpose of the meeting on Wednesday is to let members of the Knesset hear directly, without the intervention of negotiators, the Palestinian Authority's stance on the crisis in peace negotiations, and possible solutions to overcome them."

"We Knesset members are asking ourselves how we can help break through this critical stage in negotiations and give another opportunity for the peace process with Palestinians," he added.

Bar continued and stressed the importance of reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians, saying that the lives of Israelis will be universally improved if a deal is reached.

On Sunday, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held a three-hour meeting in the absence of US mediator Martin Indyk, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.

The meeting reportedly ended without any clear indications of progress.

PLO sources told Ma'an that the Palestinian team had rejected Israeli chief negotiation Tzipi Livni's call for the Palestinians to withdraw their applications to join 15 international treaties and organizations.

According to the report, the Palestinian negotiators also called for Israel to completely freeze settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem prior to discussing other issues.

While Ma'an did not name the officials present at the meeting, an earlier AFP report quoted an unnamed Palestinian official as saying that Israel's chief negotiator Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's special envoy Yitzhak Molcho were scheduled to meet with the Palestinian Authority's chief negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Erekat denied to Israel Radio earlier Sunday that his team was planning to meet with Israeli negotiators.

According to the radio station, he said the sides would only convene later in the week when US mediator Martin Indyk returned to the region.

Israel did not independently confirm the report.

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