Mahmoud Abbas what 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
The Fatah Revolutionary Council over the weekend expressed support for
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s refusal to open direct talks
with Israel unconditionally.
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Following a stormy meeting in Ramallah, the
122 members of the council also voiced support for Abbas’s efforts to reconcile
Abbas told Fatah members that the US administration was
exerting heavy pressure on him to agree to direct talks with Israel without
Abbas reiterated his opposition to the demand, insisting that
Israel first accept the pre- 1967 lines as the future borders of a Palestinian
state, freeze all settlement construction and reach agreement with the
Palestinians on security issues.
Abbas also criticized US President
Barack Obama for being “unclear and vague” with the Palestinians. Abbas said
that Obama sent him an oral message that did not include clear answers to
questions he had presented to the Americans regarding the proposed negotiations
The support of the Revolutionary Council is seen as a moral
victory for Abbas. Last week he also won the backing of the PLO Executive
Committee on this issue.
“The Revolutionary Council and Fatah stand
firmly with the president regarding the direct negotiations,” said a statement
issued by the council members. “The council also stresses the need to demand
that the US administration clarify its position regarding the 1967
The statement said that direct negotiations with Israel were
contingent on recognition of pre-1967 lines as the official borders of a
Palestinian state. It noted that these lines include also east Jerusalem, the
Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley on the Palestinian side of the line.
council urged Abbas to reshuffle the cabinet of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad so
that it would include more Fatah ministers.
The council also strongly
condemned Hamas for its continued crackdown on Fatah members in the Gaza Strip
and called for the release of all those detained in Hamas prisons.
PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Saturday that direct negotiations must be
preceded by Israeli acceptance of the pre-1967 lines as the basis for a
He did not rule out a land swap.
that a cessation of all settlement activities was also a condition for moving to