Israel and Palestinian negotiating teams are scheduled to meet Thursday, the meeting scheduled for Wednesday postponed to Thursday by request by the United States so that US envoy Martin Indyk could attend the meeting.
The talks are to address issues regarding extension of talks past this month’s April 29th deadline, as well as issues that have caused a fall-out in negotiations.
Reports Thursday morning claim that Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas stated that if negotiations are to resume and an agreement is made between Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams, the issue of borders for a Palestinian state would be addressed over a three-month period.
Following a meeting with several Israeli MK’s in Ramallah on Wednesday, Abbas is reportedly willing to extend peace talks for an additional nine months. He additionally stated that if talks were to fail that the Palestinian Authority would cooperate with Israel on security issues.
Abbas reportedly was consistent in his demands that the fourth phase of Palestinian prisoners be released as part of any agreement for resumed negotiations. Israel cancelled the release due to the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to extend peace talks. Following the announcement of the cancellation, the Palestinian Authority violated its commitment to not request membership in international treaties and organizations for recognition as a sovereign state.
Abbas signed 15 requests, both the United Nations and Swiss government accepting the Palestinian Authority’s requests. Palestinian officials continue to threaten to join more international bodies if talks due not succeed.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf stated on the resumed negotiations that, “the bottom line is both parties tell us they want negotiations to continue, and they’re searching for a path to do that. The U.S. is continuing to play the role of facilitator and to support the two sides as they try to reach an agreement.”
Amir Tsarfati is the founder and president of Behold Israel, a news site to correct the scarcity in trustworthy reportage on issues and events impacting Israel, and to resolve the uncertainty about who or what to believe.
Photo credit: Prime Minister of Israel (Creative Commons)