'Israeli gov't might change, but peace terms won't'

PA President Abbas address African Union Summit, reiterates conditions for peace, vows to vanquish "Israeli apartheid."

January 27, 2013 16:20
1 minute read.
PA President Abbas address African Union, July 4, 2005

PA President Abbas address African Union, July 4, 2005. (photo credit: REUTERS/Radu Sigheti)


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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that while the character of the coalition in Israel is expected to change, the Palestinian conditions for peace will not.

Abbas listed the Palestinian conditions, which include: a freeze on building in the West Bank, release of prisoners, and an agreement on the final status issues including Jerusalem, the refugees, and retreating to the 1967 lines.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who recently embarked on a coalition building process following the January 22 national elections, said Friday that there are "no quick fix solutions" with the Palestinians. His comments came amid expectations that the anticipated inclusion of Yesh Atid in the next government will breathe new life into the moribund diplomatic process.

Netanyahu, according to government officials, said he wanted to move ahead with the Palestinian Authority toward an agreement, but that the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and its aftermath showed that instant solutions were not possible. It was necessary to move forward in a “measured and cautious” way, he said.

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid said before the election that he would not join a government that did not promote negotiations with the Palestinians.

"We in Palestine resist the Israeli apartheid, and are also determined to defeat it," he said at the 20th annual African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, according to Palestinan news agency Wafa. "A system of apartheid is applied by force under various guises in the occupied land of Palestine... You irrevocably expelled the apartheid from your continent, and thus are we determined to do in our land."

He noted that his aim was not to delegitimize the state of Israel, but rather to delegitimize the settlements and the occupation.

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