World Knows Israel to Blame for Collapse of Talks, PA Says

Palestinians demand Israel implement fourth prisoner release and focus on final borders, if talks are to continue.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud AbbasCredit: Reuters
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Despite Israel's efforts to blame the Palestinian Authority for the failure in negotiations, the world knows it is Israel's fault, PA officials said Saturday.

The Palestinians hold Israel responsible for the collapse of talks due to both their reneging on its commitment to release the fourth batch of prisoners and the publication of 700 tenders for new housing units beyond the Green Line.

In talks between Israelis and Palestinians scheduled for Sunday, the Palestinians plan to present two demands: That Israel implement the fourth prisoner release in exchange for continued talks and the Palestinian commitment not to join international organizations, and to focus on final borders.

"Netanyahu must clarify one simple thing: Is he willing to go for a two-state solution on the basis of 1967 borders. If so, we can proceed. If not, it means he is interested in eternalizing the occupation and is in the process for the sake of political survival. We are calling for 67 borders with land swaps agreed upon by both sides. He needs to state what Israel's borders are," a senior Palestinian official said.

The Palestinians deny claims they made radical proposals on borders and Jerusalem. The senior Palestinian official told Haaretz that Israel never agreed to 1967 borders or Jerusalem.

"They spoke generally without addressing the 1967 borders or the boundaries of Jerusalem. One of the proposals was that Jerusalem won't be mentioned in the framework agreement at all, and instead the Americans would attach an external letter that would stress the importance of Jerusalem to Palestinians without defining its borders," he said.

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