Tuesday 17 August 2010

Abbas gives up conditions, agrees to talks ‘with no guarantees’

[ 17/08/2010 - 11:47 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Mahmoud Abbas no longer sets conditions for resuming talks with Israel, Fatah-linked media outlets said, noting that he currently seeks to improve terms for the negotiating environment with the "Zionist enemy".

This comes after Israel recently rebuffed a proposal by the Quartet committee to base future negotiations on a list of preconditions set by Abbas.

The sources said the move does not provide Abbas with any guarantees that Israel will abide by previous agreements.

The Fatah news agency reported in an analysis titled “America’s surprise over the strong Palestinian stance” that Abbas runs a maneuver which “will lead to improving terms in the negotiating environment, without solid assurances that this improvement would oblige the Israeli government with what previously took place and it evaded.”

According to the analysis, Abbas recanted because “the American mediators insist on honoring an earlier agreement which provides that they will assume announcing the course of talks between the three parties - the PLO, Israel, and the American administration - . They supported their view by referring to the hasty refusal from the Israeli Prime Minister’s office to acknowledge the Quartet’s statement on the principles the negotiations must be based on.”

For its part, the Hamas movement said that Abbas’s move towards negotiations with Israel is in opposition to national agreement.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a news briefing: “Continuing talks with the Israeli occupation is the biggest threat on the rights of the Palestinian people, and specifically on the city of Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque,” adding that “Israel hopes that negotiations would provide a cover-up for its crimes.”

He stressed that Palestinian factions would expose those who conspire against the Palestinian people and put an end to the series of negotiations.

In a related context, PLO political department head, Farouk Kaddoumi, said the Abbas authority will go into direct talks with Israel because it has no other option.

He expects negotiations to fail due to the lack of a political framework.

“There is wide Palestinian opposition among the ranks of Fatah, Hamas, and other factions and independents to move to direct negotiations with [Israel],” Kaddoumi told the Jordanian “Al-Ghad (Tomorrow)” newspaper published on Tuesday. He added that he expects that “tensions in the Palestinian arena would develop into an uprising.”

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