PA Continues to Stall, Insists on Preconditions

March 2, 2012  

The Palestinian Authority is once again avoiding peace negotiations with Israel and plans to demand preconditions for negotiations, Army Radio reported on Friday.

According to the report, which cited the Al-Arabiya network, the PA is demanding that Israel recognize a Palestinian state along the indefensible pre-1967 borders with equal territorial swaps and cessation of construction of Jewish homes in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem.

The report added that the PA is also demanding that Israel release all Arab prisoners, even those who were jailed before the 1993 Oslo Accords.

The PA is claiming that if Israel accepts these conditions, it will be willing to resume negotiations. The report said that the PA’s official position on this issue will soon be presented to the Israeli government in a special document that will be forwarded through Jordanian mediation.

Since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu assumed took office three years ago, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has rejected Israeli calls to resume negotiations and has continuously tried to impose preconditions.

Jordan recently hosted Palestinian Authority and Israeli representatives for a series of “exploratory” talks, but those too ended after the PA refused to continue them.

Netanyahu recently condemned the PA for continuing to stall on negotiations, saying PA officials “have no interest in restarting peace negotiations.”

“For the last three years, the Palestinians have refused to enter negotiations, thinking they could impose preconditions upon us,” Netanyahu said.

“The Palestinians have no interest in entering peace talks,” he said. “I’m ready to travel now to Ramallah to start peace talks with Abu Mazen, without preconditions. But the simple truth is that Abu Mazen is not ready,” he said.

Abu Mazen means ‘the father of Mazen’, Abbas’ late first born son, in line with the Arab custom of kunya, deriving a father’s name from the name of his son, usually the first born.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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