Israeli Minister of Justice, Haim Ramon, said in an interview with Israel’s TV Channel 10 that the document presented by the Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons is part of the internal conflict between Fateh and Hamas adding that the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees is an important part of this document.
“There is no Palestinian who is willing to give up the Right of Return”, Ramon stated, “We can’t reach a comprehensive peace deal with the Palestinians based on this document”.
Ramon added that the only way to achieve peace is by implementing the Road Map Plan which includes “certain levels to advance in the peace talks, while the Palestinians are trying to avoid implementing it”, according to Ramon.
Meanwhile, head of the Labor Party Bloc at the Knesset Afraim Sneih commented on the statements of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday and said that “Abbas has proved that he is the leader that Israel should negotiate with”, and called on the Israeli government to respond to Abbas and renew the peace talks and contacts with the Palestinian leadership.
National Union member of Knesset, Tzvi Hendel, commented on the statements of Abbas by saying that “he has no doubt that the Palestinians will vote on the expulsion of Jews until the green line”. These statements reflect his position that rejects any withdrawal from the occupied territories since 1967.
Yossi Beilin, head of Meretz-Yahad movement, said that the statements of Abbas prove that Olmert should understand that there is a shift in the policy of the Palestinian leadership.
Beilin called on Israel to initiate intensive talks with the Palestinians instead of “following the illusions of achieving peace through unilateral moves”.
Member of Knesset, Ami Ayalon, said that Abbas’s ultimatum to the Palestinian factions proves that he is a real leader who extends his hand to Olmert in order to achieve a peace deal. His statement came responding to Olmert’s statement during his speech at the Congress when he said “I extend my hand for Abbas, to achieve peace”.
Ayalon added that Olmert should prove his intentions publicly and meet Abbas immediately.
Olmert returned to Israel on Thursday after visiting the United States and meeting with the American President, George W. Bush, and several US officials.
Olmert also delivered a speech in front of the US senate and said that he intends to go on with his “convergence plan” to unilaterally draw Israel’s borders without negotiating with the Palestinians.