Abbas: Israel setting tone for one-state solution
Palestinian leader tells The Guardian he'd accept talks in exchange for full 3-month settlement freeze.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday that Israel's continued activity in the West Bank was leading to a "one-state solution," telling The Guardian in an exclusive interview that he was prepared to relaunch peace negotiations in exchange for a full three-month settlement freeze.
The Palestinian leader also told The Guardian that he could be inclined toward accepting the Obama administration's proposal for direct, but low-level, talks prior to beginning full-scale peace negotiations.
"If there is any substance in the response from the Israeli side - for example, if they accept the framework of a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders and an end to occupation, with timelines and mechanisms - then there will be progress," Abbas told The Guardian.
He told The Guardian that he and former prime minister Ehud Olmert had come closer to a peace agreement than any previous Israeli or Palestinian leadership, complete with discussions about "border swaps, Jerusalem and the return of some refugees."
However, Abbas said, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had refused to continue those negotiations.
Abbas also reiterated that he would not tolerate a return to violent resistance and said he supported Egypt's construction of a border fence with the Gaza Strip as part of its efforts to crack down on smuggling.