Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed Friday his readiness to restart negotiations with Israel, whether publicly or secretly, hoping this would, as soon as possible, lead to peace.
In an interview with the French 24 TV, Abbas voiced willingness to reach peace with Israel in the course of one month, leading to a two-state solution and resolution of all outstanding final status talks issues including the refugee problem and Jerusalem.
The Palestinian President told the French TV that the Palestinian unity government’s platform is ‘acceptable’ for it adheres to the international legitimacy resolutions, yet it does not meet the Quartet’s conditions.
On the issue of captured Israeli soldier Gil’ad Shalit, some resistance groups still hold in Gaza since last June, President Abbass anticipated release of Gila’d very soon, while demanded Israel to free about 9,500 Palestinian prisoners, being held in its jails and concentration camps.
Abbas assured that the BBC reporter, Alan Jhonston, who was kidnapped three weeks ago by unknown group in Gaza, will be released soon also.
Hams, which currently shares the government with Abbas’s Fatah, has respected past agreements signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel, but has not ostensibly committed itself to the Quartet’s demands; recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and accepting past agreements.
The Quartet for Middle East peace (United Nations, United States, European Union, Russia) has decided to continue boycotting the Palestinian Authority and set a Temporary Assistance Mechanism, until its demands are met.
In a phone call from Damascus to a Hamas rally in Ramallah marking the third anniversary of the assassination by Israel of Hamas’s spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, Khaled Masha’al, Hamas’s supreme leader, reiterated his group’s commitment not to give up ‘an inch’ of the Palestinian land and that resistance against the Israeli occupation would continue.
Abbas’ invitation for negotiations with Israel comes in a time the Israeli government has already refused a peace initiative offered by the Arab countries in late March, on basis of normal ties with the Hebrew state in return for complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories and finding a fair solution for the Palestinian refugee problem.