Abbas: We're Ready to Talk to Any Israeli Government That Recognizes Palestine

Palestinian official says the Palestinians should focus on non-violent resistance: 'We do not think that peace is on the horizon.'

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The Palestinians welcome peace talks with any Israeli government that recognizes a Palestinian state, President Abbas’ spokesman said on Wednesday, after the results of the Israeli elections were announced.

"What interests us in the next Israeli government, is for it to abide by the two-state solution, stop settlements and recognize the United Nations General Assembly November 29 resolution that talks about a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital," said President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh.

"We are ready to work with any government in Israel that accepts these terms of reference that are based on international resolutions," he said in a statement published on the official Ramallah-based Wafa news agency.

Palestinians were surprised by the results of the Israeli election, but still they are not getting their hopes up, a top Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said at a press conference in Ramallah.

“It was a surprise to everyone that the center and center left have revitalized themselves,” she said, but added that “when it comes to Palestinians, no one is jumping with joy.”

Though it is unclear which parties Israel’s new government will consist of, Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said that the Palestinians do not expect any change in the Israeli position. “We do not think that peace is on the horizon I do not expect miraculous transformation in Israeli policy,” she said.

Ashrawi said that the Palestinians should continue to focus on non-violent popular resistance and also efforts to reunite their ranks.

The UNGA approved in November the Palestinian bid to upgrade the Palestinian Authority to a non-member observer state status. 138 nations supported the resolution and 9 opposed it.

Following the vote, Israel imposed financial sanctions against the PA and announced it will advance construction plans in West Bank settlements and in East Jerusalem.

Netanyahu, seen here with Mahmoud Abbas, at meeting in September 2010. Credit: AP
Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi.Credit: Nir Kafri

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