Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, intends to send a letter to Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, asking him to return to the Negotiations table, and telling him that he is willing, among other thing, to hold talks on borders, the refugees, and Jerusalem, in addition to demanding a Palestinian recognition of Israel as “the national homeland of the Jewish people”.Netanyahu also intends to inform Abbas that he is willing to resume the talks that were held in Amman – Jordan under Jordanian supervision.
The Prime Minister would allegedly tell Abbas that Israel is willing to hold talks on the fate of Jerusalem, settlements, Palestinian refugees, water and security arrangements, Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported.
Yet, Netanyahu and his government insist that Israel has the right to build settlements, and describe them as “housing projects”.
Haaretz added that Netanyahu will also inform Abbas that “Israel is not placing preconditions for the resumption of talks”, and that he expects the Palestinians to do the same.
But his main point, which was not labeled by Israel as a precondition, is Netanyahus’ demand that the Palestinians must recognize Israel as “the national homeland of the Jewish people”.
A senior Israeli official told Haaretz that the Israeli letter will not be put on paper until president Abbas sends his letter in the coming days as Netanyahu’s letter will partially be based on the Palestinian President’s letter.
Netanyahu held a press conference on Tuesday, celebrating three years in office, and casting the blame of the idleness of peace talks on the Palestinians, claiming that ‘they are the ones who are placing what he called preconditions”.
He added that he does not want a bi-national state, but a state with Jewish character, and that he wants to maintain the “Jewish character” of Israel.
Haaretz revealed on Tuesday that a meeting took place in Jerusalem last week between Chief Palestinian Negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat, and Netanyahu’s envoy, Yitzhak Molho, and that the two phone each other regularly, but this meeting was the first face to face meeting since the collapse of the talks held in Amman – Jordan, on January 26 this year.
The Israeli demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish State, or the State of the Jewish people, retroactively means dropping the internationally guaranteed Right of Return of the Palestinian people to their towns and lands that were destroyed and their residents were forcibly displaced by the Israeli forces during the creation of Israel in historic Palestine in 1948.
While Israel is demanding the Palestinians to return to the negotiations table, Tel Aviv is ongoing with its settlement construction and expansion activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including occupied East Jerusalem.
Israel claims its constructions are merely housing projects, and insists that Jerusalem is, and will always be, the unified capital of the “Jewish State”.
Settlements are illegal under International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention t which Israel is a signatory.
East Jerusalem was occupied by Israel, along with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, after the 1967 six-day war; International Law, and numerous UN resolutions, recognize it an occupied city.
Israel settlements, and the Annexation Wall, in the West Bank are splitting the West Bank into isolated cantons, preventing the expansion of Palestinian villages and towns, isolating the Palestinians from their orchards and lands, and are creating the de-facto borders of the future Palestinian “state”.