Thursday, 10 October 2013

Now this looks more posative: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has agreed to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a senior Palestinian official said Thursday. The official claimed that Abbas has officially informed the US Administration of his agreement to meet with Netanyahu. The official was quoted by the Palestinian Quds Net News Agency as saying that Abbas has dropped his previous pre-conditions for holding a summit with Netanyahu. The official did not specify the nature of the pre-conditions. Abbas had said in the past that he did not want a meeting with Netanyahu to serve as a photo-up opportunity that would serve Israel's interests alone.
The official did not specify the nature of the pre-conditions. Abbas had said in the past that he did not want a meeting with Netanyahu to serve as a photo-up opportunity that would serve Israel's interests alone. "The US Administration played a big role in exerting pressure on Abbas to agree to a meeting with Netanyahu," the official disclosed. "We expect the meeting to take place in Jerusalem in the next few days." In response, a source in Abbas's office said it was "premature" to talk about a summit between the two. The source acknowledged that Washington had suggested to Abbas to meet with Netanyahu in the context of efforts to boost the peace process. Meanwhile, PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi added her voice to those calling on the PA leadership to pull out of the peace talks with Israel. "There is no benefit in the negotiations after the force of occupation emptied them from their goal," Ashrawi said in a statement. She accused Israel of seeking to destroy the prospects for peace and the two-state solution. Ashrawi called on the Arab and Islamic countries to "break their silence and move immediately to stop the policy of Judaizing the Aqsa Mosque and crimes perpetrated by Israel under the looking eye of the world." Ashrawi's remarks came in response to the Jerusalem Municipality's decision to build 58 housing units in the city's Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood and "price tag" assaults by extremist Jews against Palestinians. She also strongly condemned visits to the Temple Mount by "settler gangs and their rabbis." Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat also condemned the decision to build new homes in Pisgat Ze'ev. "Israel has an obsession to intensify its aggression against Palestine and its people while we are trying to reach a negotiated solution," Erekat charged. "Our position is clear and in line with international law: all Israeli settlements in Palestine are illegal. Settlement construction in Occupied East Jerusalem, Ariel and Kiryat Arab is illegal and undermines the prospects of a negotiated two-state solution. If Israel is serious about peace, they must cease all settlement activities."

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