Hey John - It ain't over 'til it's overA senior aide to 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President
Palestinians have not yet agreed to resume talks with Israel, await US clarifications - @MahmoudAbbas aide Abed Rabbo to Voice of PalestineInterior Minister Gideon Saar, who may not know a whole lot more about what was agreed than I do, is claiming that Israel did not agree to negotiations based on the
— Dan Williams (@DanWilliams) July 21, 2013
But the 'Palestinians' are claiming that they received a written commitment from Kerry to negotiations based on the 1949 armistice lines. Of course, Saar's claim and the 'Palestinian' claim are not contradictory.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to resume peace talks with Israel only after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gave him a letter guaranteeing that the basis of the negotiations will be Israel's pre-1967 borders, two senior Palestinian officials told the Associated Press on Saturday.
A Western official, however, later denied that the '67 lines would be the basis of negotiations.
The Palestinian officials, both of whom are close to the Palestinian leader and privy to internal discussions, said the U.S. letter also stipulated that both sides are to refrain from taking any steps that would jeopardize the outcome of the talks. Israel is not to issue new tenders for Jewish settlements in the West Bank, while the Palestinians are not to pursue diplomatic action against Israel at any international organizations, the officials said on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to brief the media.
The talks with Kerry were about to collapse, and the letter came as a lifeline in the last-minute bargaining," one of the Palestinian officials said.
But other PA officials were not so sure Abbas had received such a written guarantee.
"Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is going to resume negotiations based on verbal promises. He has no guarantees that a Palestinian state will be formed on the basis of the 1967 borders, that there will be a settlement freeze or that our prisoners will be released," a senior official in Ramallah told Israel Hayom on Saturday.
Arab media outlets meanwhile quoted an official in the Palestinian Authority president's inner circle, who said the return to peace talks was made possible only thanks to a plan, delineated in a personal letter from Kerry to Abbas, which had Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu make significant concessions regarding their preconditions, without having to announce them publicly. Some reports even quoted senior Palestinian officials as saying that the letter contained a guarantee from Kerry that the peace talks will be based on the 1967 lines, something which Jerusalem has denied.
And then there are the terrorists being held in Israeli prisons. Israeli media is reporting that 85 'Palestinians' will be released starting in 4-6 weeks. That includes all of the 'Palestinian' terrorists being held in Israeli prisons since before the 1993 Oslo Accords (the 119 number you hear bandied about includes Israeli Arabs and common criminals). These are people with lots of blood on their hands, most of whom are serving multiple life sentences.
A senior Palestinian source also told i24News that Kerry threatened to suspend aid unless the Palestinians agreed to renewed talks with Israel.
On the other hand, a 'Palestinian' minister has told the Associated Press that Israel will release 350 'Palestinians' over the next several months. Again, no contradiction in terms.
What could go wrong?
Labels: 1949 armistice lines, Abu Mazen, Binyamin Netanyahu, final status negotiations, John Kerry, negotiations without preconditions, Palestinian prisoners, Palestinian terrorists, settlement freeze