Abbas gives one month to Israel's Netanyahu

Abbas gives one month to Israel's Netanyahu

Abbas gives one month to Israels Netanyahu

Palestinian President Abbas gives the Israeli PM one month to respond. AFP photo

Palestine will renew its efforts to win U.N. recognition as a state if it does not receive a positive response from Israel to its positions on a prospective peace deal, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told an unofficial Israeli delegation on April 8, according to Israeli daily Haaretz.

The report said Abbas gave Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a month to respond to the Palestinian positions, which will be laid out in a letter to be delivered to Netanyahu on April 17 during a meeting in Jerusalem with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

The letter is expected to lay out Palestinian conditions for returning to direct negotiations, which have been on hold since late September 2010. “It was agreed that a Palestinian delegation, including Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization Yasser Abed Rabbo and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat, will meet with Netanyahu on the 17th of this month,” a Palestinian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

Netanyahu’s office has said he will respond with his own letter to Abbas, which is likely to call for a resumption of direct negotiations without preconditions, according to Agence France-Presse. Last week, Erakat and Netanyahu’s envoy Yitzhak Molcho held talks believed to have focused on the contents of Abbas’ letter.

Israel says it wants talks without preconditions, but the Palestinians have sought an Israeli settlement freeze and clear parameters for discussions before resuming direct negotiations. Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been frozen since September 2010 due to a thorny dispute over Israeli settlement building.