Abbas to Tell Obama: Palestinians Won’t Go to The Hague if Israel Refrains From Construction in E-1

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to pledge to U.S. President Barack Obama during their talks in Ramallah on Thursday that the Palestinians will not bring charges against Israel at the International Court of Justice in The Hague if Israel refrains from construction in the E-1 corridor that links Jerusalem to Ma’aleh Adumim.

Subscribe to Haaretz Digital Editions to get full coverage on Obama's visit and all news and analysis from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world.

The New York Times published a talking points document prepared by the Palestinian Authority’s negotiating team for President Abbas. This document was sent via email by one of the aides to the head of the negotiations team, Saeb Erekat.

“We agree on what needs to be done and on what should not be done, based on the understanding that Israel does not commence building in E-1,” the document reads.

According to the talking points prepared for Abbas, he is expected to claim that “no one can gain more than the Palestinians from a resumption of negotiations and no one can lose more in their absence."

Abbas will tell Obama that the Palestinians will be satisfied with a quiet freeze of construction, and will not insist on a public declaration concerning this move. “[Netanyahu] can give me his private assurances that no further construction will take place in the settlements during negotiations," says the document.

The document also calls on Abbas to put pressure on Obama to urge Netanyahu to commit to resuming negotiations based on the 1967 borders, with agreed upon land transfers as part of the deal. Abbas will tell Obama that he hopes one day Netanyahu will put a map on the negotiating table, just like he, Abbas, has done.

The document also contains a recommendation for Abbas to tell Obama that if there is no progress in negotiations he will consider dismantling the Palestinian Authority. “This is not a threat, but only a sharing of our thoughts," says the document. “If things continue the way they are now I will ask Netanyahu to take charge [over the Authority]."

Ahead of Obama’s visit, the Palestinian Authority released an animated video clip on YouTube stating that the purpose of negotiations is not to conduct a process, but to achieve peace. The video lays out in detail the Palestinian position on core issues such as Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements, security and water. 

Abbas and Obama. The Palestinian needs the U.S. president on his side. Credit: AP