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Palestinian Authority Says Ready for Direct Negotiations With Tel Aviv

Palestinian Authority Says Ready for Direct Negotiations With Tel Aviv

Monday, 17 February, 2020 - 08:30
Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh with ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda in Munich (Wafa)
Ramallah, Tel Aviv- Kifah Zboun and Asharq Al-Awsat

The Palestinian Authority is ready to sign a peace agreement within two weeks only if Israel agrees to establish a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, announced Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh.

“The Israeli government does not want a peace agreement with us. If there really was an interest in having real negotiations based on our demands, it could have been finalized in two weeks,” Abu Rudeineh told Israeli journalists in Ramallah during a meeting organized by an official Palestinian committee.

He indicated that the US government is pushing Israel and the Palestinians into a permanent conflict. He asserted that the conflict will be resolved through negotiations between Palestine and Israel and not through a deal presented by Washington.

The spokesman asserted that President Mahmoud Abbas wants peace, but it is difficult to find a leader ready to sign the US terms.

“We want the Israeli people to know that we are serious in fighting terrorism, otherwise, we would have allowed the people to arm,” Abbas said, asserting that security coordination with Tel Aviv continued.

The Authority is now seeking to launch negotiations with the presence of a multilateral mechanism, with the US as one of its parties, however it remains a proposal until a major power adopts it.

Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called on Germany and Europe in general to exert all efforts to come out with a clear vision on terms of references for the peace process based on a multilateral mechanism, particularly the resolutions and standards internationally endorsed.

Shtayyeh was speaking during his meeting with German MP and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Norbert Rottgen at the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference (MSC).

The Prime Minister also stressed the importance of international and European interference to stop Israel from obstructing elections in Jerusalem and all Palestinian territories.

Fatah movement said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan summarizes the reality of the ‘deal of the century’ and confirms it as a plan aimed at extending Israeli hegemony to include all of historic Palestine, rather than a plan that seeks to establish peace based on the principles of justice and respect for international law.

Netanyahu announced Sunday that a team began its work to annex areas in the West Bank, in reference to Israel’s decision to annex the border area of the Jordan Valley and West Bank settlements.

The committee has started preparing the organizational arrangements, including sending Israeli members to Washington or US members to Israel. It will have to arrange the participation of experts, engineers, and all stakeholders because the discussion is about delineating the borders of Israel for the first time in its history, according to sources in Israel.

In addition, they will discuss the maps laid out in the original plan published by US President Donald Trump.

Other sources confirmed that the composition of the committee may change after the Israeli elections, which will take place after two weeks.

In the event that a government headed by Benny Gantz is formed, he will make sure to include the Israeli army in this committee, knowing that Netanyahu has excluded the army from it.

The announcement came to serve Netanyahu in the elections, as he wanted to prove that he was serious in carrying out the annexations after settlers accused him of hesitation.

Settlers want the PM to ignore the US administration’s decision not to announce the annexation, claiming that if annexation doesn’t occur before the elections, it will never take place.

Netanyahu and White House officials have claimed that postponing the annexation until after the Israeli elections was due to the need of developing accurate maps of the borders and the areas that would be annexed in the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, and other parts of the West Bank.

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