Abbas warns of ‘new measures’ if talks fail
RAMALLAH, West Bank - The Associated PressThe Palestinian president yesterday threatened to take “new measures” against Israel if a much-anticipated meeting in Jordan fails to bring about a resumption of peace talks.
The measures could include more action at the U.N. Mahmoud Abbas issued the warning shortly before the chief Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were to meet in Amman. The goal of their meeting, the first between the sides in more than a year, is to find an agenda for renewed peace talks. The Palestinians say Israel must freeze settlement construction and agree to return to its pre-1967 lines for peace talks to resume. The Palestinians want to establish an independent state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, areas that were captured in the 1967 Mideast war. Abbas said that if Israel accepts the Palestinian conditions, “we will go to negotiations.” He said the Palestinians have set a Jan. 26 deadline for talks to resume. “After that date, we will take new measures. These measures might be hard,” he said.
Israel says peace talks should begin immediately without any preconditions. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu already has ruled out a return to the 1967 lines, saying they would be indefensible. Tuesday’s meeting is taking place under the auspices of the Quartet.