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Ramallah protest rejects negotiations
Published Saturday 14/01/2012 (updated) 16/01/2012 10:22
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RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinians rallied Saturday against steps toward renewing negotiations with Israel, gathering outside the presidential headquarters in Ramallah.

"If you're against negotiations, honk your car's horn," protesters chanted.

Sympathetic drivers joined the demonstrators calling for the PLO to cease involvement in bilateral meetings in Jordan.

A gathering of young men and women also chose to protest silently to show the youth's rejection of negotiations being attended by the West Bank-based Palestinian leadership.

They urged decision-makers to obey the will of the Palestinian people and to boycott Israel politically, economically, academically and culturally and to prepare for PLO elections.

Among the signs held by protesters: "No to resuming negotiations, yes to returning refugees," "No negotiations with settlements," and "The people aren't idiots".

"Negotiations mean more settlements, prisoners, confiscations," another sign said.

The activists are urging direct elections to the PLO's Palestinian National Council, which in theory represents the entire Palestinian population all around the world.

They also urged the PLO leadership to stick to prior announcements that negotiations would not continue until Israel agreed to a full freeze of settlement activity in the occupied territories.

Israeli and PLO envoys held their third round of face-to-face meetings this year on Saturday in what diplomats hoped might lead to the resumption of full peace talks, sources on each side said.

The exploratory discussions began on Jan. 3 and followed a long break in negotiations after President Mahmoud Abbas suspended talks 15 months ago over Israel's expansion of Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Abbas on Thursday played down prospects of any breakthrough, telling members of his Fatah party that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had not put forward any new proposals.

"The words that we heard in Netanyahu's residence (in 2010) are the same words he is repeating now, nothing new," Abbas said, adding that he had told US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the apparent lack of progress.

Abbas is traveling to London, Berlin and Moscow to discuss the situation.

The "Quartet" of international peace mediators -- the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations -- sought in October to revive the peace talks, which broke down weeks after they began in 2010.

The Quartet wants the two sides to state their positions on the borders and security arrangements of a future "two-state solution" by Jan. 26 to help open the door to a resumption of full negotiations.

US officials have signaled that the Jan. 26 target date for the two sides to exchange proposals could slide.
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1 ) EE / UK
15/01/2012 01:35
Palestinian people want to boycott Israel – fine and very smart. They can start from boycotting Israeli supplied water and electricity, continue with boycotting Israeli currency, Israeli sea, ground and air transportation and end with boycotting Israeli labor market. Palestinians are not known for making smart choices and that boycott will be compatible with other Palestinian smart moves like rejection of the UN partition plan for Palestine and starting second Intifada.

2 ) US Citizen / US
15/01/2012 07:02
@ #1 ... Maybe the Pals should boycott anything British since Britain is the one that kicked and transported the squatters, thieves and land grabbers to Pal in 1948.... I wonder why you Brits were so eager to rid Britain of this unwanted element.

3 ) Avril / UK
15/01/2012 14:06
Israel must cease settlement building NOW if it wants to show good faith in the negotiations. Palestinians and many others worldwide do not see Israel as committed to REAL peace talks as they are continuing to flout International Laws which they themselves signed up to.They lie and squirm their way along and say it is all in their defense of Israel.This is a huge lie because they are following their ZIONIST mandate which is to gain all land for themselves plus all of Jeruselem.

4 ) Jafar M. Ramini / UK
15/01/2012 16:19
1) This not Israeli land, sea, air or water. This is occupied Palestine stolen by force against all known international and human conventions. If the Zionist racist apartheid state of Israel is intent on continuing in same way, there will never be peace in the region and their very existence will be in peril. I say no to the occupation. No to futile negotiations. No to the biased quartet. Yes to peace with justice. Yes to one state for all with equal rights and obligations under the law.

5 ) TOHELLWITH / MAAN
15/01/2012 16:21
A GREAT ARTICLE FROM MA'AN SHAME YOU GIVE YOUR OWN OPINION,THEN SPEND HALF THE ARTICLE TRYING TO JUSTIFY THE TALKS.

6 ) Mel / USA
15/01/2012 16:55
40 yrs of "negotiations",is a RUSE for 'delay until all Arab land is stolen & covered with Jewish-only colonies connnected by Jewish-only apartheid ROADS'! All paid for,illegally,by US taxes&Palestinian blood! Nothing to negotiate! Demand what is rightfully/legally yours,Palestine!
Right of Return to your homelands.The right to be recognized by Israel.The right to DEFEND yourself from offensive occupier Israel! There's NOTHING to negotiate,concede,sacrifice,on any of those inalienable RIGHTS!

7 ) Israeli / israel
15/01/2012 17:43
No to negotiations. and yes to .... what exactly? Illogical emotionalized non-arguments? More violence? Just doing nothing and hoping things change? Bibi government is not interested in a Palestinian state in the 67 borders. either get the US to force Bibi or wait for next years elections and hope fot Livni. I dont see any other options.
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