Palestinians say preconditions to talks remain
Despite U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement last Friday that an agreement that “establishes a basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis” had been reached, Abu Rudeineh said Sunday that the Palestinian preconditions to talks—that Israel both make its pre-1967 lines the baseline for negotiations and halt construction beyond those lines—remain, Israel Hayom reported.
Senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath echoed Abu Rudeineh’s comments.
“Returning back to negotiations depends on two steps we asked the American side to agree on,” Shaath told Ma’an News Agency, without identifying what those steps are.
“We will not go back to negotiations unless we get what we asked for,” Shaath said.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at his weekly cabinet meeting that If peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians reach fruition, the results will be brought to a national referendum vote among Israelis for ratification.
“I believe that this is crucial; I don’t believe that decisions such as these can be taken—if a deal is reached—with one coalition or another, but rather this thing needs to be brought to the nation to decide,” Netanyahu said, according to Israel Hayom.
The first phase of negotiations, for which a specific date has not yet been set, will take place in Washington, DC, and involve Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s special envoy Yitzhak Molcho, and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
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