PA official: Ready to 'meet Netanyahu halfway'

Jibril Rajoub tells Israel Radio Ramallah committed to peace, denies accusation Palestinians seek conditions on renewal.

June 27, 2013 10:33
Fatah official Jibril Rajoub.

Jibril Rajoub 370. (photo credit: Reuters)

Jibril Rajoub, a senior Fatah official who once headed the Preventive Security Force in the West Bank, told Israel Radio on Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority would “meet [Israel’s prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu] halfway” if the premier demonstrated sincerity in striking a deal on the two-state solution.

“If Netanyahu really believes in the two-state solution, we are ready to renew negotiations tomorrow,” Rajoub said.

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The Fatah official denied Israel’s accusation that the Palestinians have essentially frozen the peace process by placing conditions on the renewal of negotiations. Instead, Rajoub said that Ramallah merely wishes to understand “the framework” of future talks.

Rajoub told Israel Radio that there is no military solution, but a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He expressed his wish that the Americans would present a clearly defined plan.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is due to arrive in Israel on Thursday afternoon. He is scheduled to meet with Israeli officials in a bid to re-start negotiations. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded that the Israeli government cease settlement construction before agreeing to return to the negotiating table, a position that Jerusalem rejects.

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