The Palestinian Authority (P.A) headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, is said to be reluctant to resume direct peace talks with Tel Aviv without a viable and clear agenda for any future talks, Palestinian officials stated Thursday.Israeli daily, Haaretz, stated some senior Palestinian sources involved in the talks told its reporter that should the United States, through its Secretary of State, John Kerry, fail to present a viable initiative that could revive talks; the P.A will not start what was described as “pointless” talks.
Haaretz said that a senior Palestinian source said that the P.A does not want to appear as refusing to cooperate with the United States, but cannot just restart talks without clear answers regarding core issues topped by the Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, the issue of political prisoners and various essential issues.
The unnamed official told Haaretz that President Mahmoud Abbas is closely following internal Israeli debate regarding the Arab Peace Initiative that was presented to Israel in 2003, but officials in Tel Aviv have never offered any direct answers or assurances regarding the final destination of political talks.
Commenting on the issue, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) told Haaretz that the committee has not convened yet; therefore, no decisions have been made on the issue.
Furthermore, foreign diplomats who recently met Abbas said that he is committed to resuming talks with Tel Aviv, but neither Kerry no Netanyahu presented any initiative to resume talks, besides the fact that Israel it ongoing with its illegal violations, and its illegal settlement construction and expansion activities in occupied Palestine.
Despite the fact that the officials of the P.A. in the West Bank held a number of meetings with Israeli officials in a number of capitals, including Amman – Jordan, the official Palestinian stance is that direct talks cannot resume amidst ongoing Israeli violations.
Israel is also refusing to officially acknowledge the legitimate Palestinian rights of independence and self-determination, and refuses to hold talks on core issues such as the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees, borders, natural resources and the full withdrawal from the occupied territories.
Israel also insists on what it calls “its right to build and expand Jewish settlements” in the occupied West Bank, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem, despite the fact that settlements are illegal under International Law, and violate the Fourth Geneva Convention to which Israel is a signatory.