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Abbas spokesman: For talks, US must press Israel on int'l law
Published Thursday 03/01/2013 (updated) 05/01/2013 13:20
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RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- As US officials called for a fresh start in Middle East peace-making in the new year, the spokesman of President Mahmoud Abbas said Palestine's position is clear, negotiations will start as soon as Israel respects international law.

Nabil Abu Rdaineh told Ma'an Thursday that Palestinian leaders are not pressing the US to impose conditions on Israel, but rather just to abide by international law and the position of the American administration itself.

As soon as Israel stops building illegal settlements on Palestinian land, and recognizes the terms of reference of the peace process, namely the 1967 borders as a starting point, Palestine is ready for talks, Abu Rdaineh said.

While leaders were pleased with Europe and the US' condemnation of recent Israeli plans for wide-scale construction in the settlements, it is now time for the world to take concrete action to stop Israel undermining the peace process and blowing up everything that has been built to date, he said.

On Wednesday, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters the US was calling on Israel and Palestine to "take concrete steps to return to direct negotiations."

"As we turn the calendar to 2013 here, now is the time for leaders on both sides to display real leadership ... we urge both sides to clearly demonstrate that they’re serious about achieving two states living side by side in peace and security," she said.
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1 ) outlier / USA
03/01/2013 18:17
Preconditions and more preconditions. "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." If the PA wants to negotiate with the Israelis, it should sit down and negotiate.

2 ) Big Mike / USA
03/01/2013 19:50
Negotiations will at least give Izrael the appearance of legitimacy too the 2 state solution while it continues to build illegal settlements. It worked throughout the Oslo process and allowed the Z state to confiscate lots more territory from Pals while west was made to look like it really wanted to do something towards the Pals statehood. should I laugh now or later???

3 ) Negotiation / Confrontation
03/01/2013 20:07
Palestinians should go to the negotiation table, negotiate, compromise and reach an agreement with Israel. The agreement will set up borders between Israel and future Palestinian state. If they do not negotiate, Israel will use disputed land in West bank to its discretion and nothing will be left for future Palestinian state - because the life did not stop when palestinians quitted negotiations. Other words, if palestinians want their state they should hurry back to negotiation table.

4 ) EE / UK
03/01/2013 20:08
Every new precondition for the negotiations on the palestinian side should be answered with 3000 - 5000 housing units in Jerusalem. This way palestinians would see the results of their actions or inactions in about 4 - 5 years.

5 ) Filipe / Portugal
03/01/2013 20:14
Whatever happened with Abbass' repeated touting "I'll be ready to negotiate as soon as the UN vote is accepted"? Same old song and dance----- nothing has changed and nothing will. Besides he has no leagal standing to negotiate anything for the Palestinian people. His term expired in 2009 and I he's not permitted to set foot inside Gaza. Negotiations with him is a complete waste of time.

6 ) Peace / War
03/01/2013 20:17
It is strange to read that Abbas worries about reviving peace process - poor Abbas forgot that it is him who recently walked away from the peace negotiations on at least three occasions - in 2008, 2010 and just last month. He is probably having memory problems or confusing peace process with reconciliation.

7 ) LegalEagle / USA
03/01/2013 20:53
Yes 1) ,... if my neighbor insists on building on my land, I would be unwise to stop him as preconditions to honor borders already understood and settled in international law. In the long run, these nice new houses will be mine because the land has been ruled as mine PRIOR TO ANY BUILDING. So,... Thank you neighbor for building ME a house. All Jews living there will be, as Arabs currently citizens in Israel, citizens and taxpayers to Palestinian government. Get ready to ante up boys!!!

8 ) Claiming Stolen What / You Never Owned
03/01/2013 21:31
- IF Palestine had ever once had previous sovereignty over 1967 borders,
like the once Biblical Kings of Israel had over the entire region, or even
- IF Palestine had ever once had any previous sovereignty like the Kingdom of Jordan once had (1948-1967), though the UN never recognized the West Bank as part of Jordan,
- ONLY THEN would Abbas have any reason to expect the US, or any nation for that matter, to pressure Israel on international law, regarding Jewish settlements in West Bank.

9 ) Mex (fr.) / Tex.
03/01/2013 23:08
International law applies ONLY to UN member states who have been signatories to such law.

10 ) ian / australia
03/01/2013 23:42
#1 We're not talking about a fight in a parking lot outlier, where the bigger brute wins (or the guy with the gun). An undertaking to abide by international law is hardly a draconian "precondition". More a given. A civilised norm. (Though not to Bibi which is why it's necessary.) Without it, it's the same old farce: Israel bargaining HARD from a position of strength, holding out on Jerusalem, Jordan Valley etc. to SCREW the other guy and get a GREAT deal, ie. a CRUSHING defeat...of the

11 ) ian / australia
03/01/2013 23:43
(contd.) partner in Peace! (Of course, Bibi's absurd "offers" are designed to fail...or succeed, depending on your POV, being nothing the Palestinian leadership could remotely present to the people. And a less promising start to "two states existing side by side within secure and recognized borders" is hard to imagine.) So refusing to accept even an agreement to respect the law (!), Bibi is left like a brute in a parking lot, slugging it out, law-of-the-jungle-style, just the way he likes it.
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