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Israeli official: Abbas speech death blow to peace talks
Published Saturday 26/04/2014 (updated) 29/04/2014 09:54
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A senior Israeli official said on Saturday that President Mahmoud Abbas' speech earlier in the day marked the end of the peace negotiations, according to Agence-France Presse.

An unnamed official told AFP that Abbas "administered the coup de grace to the peace process today," with his speech earlier in the day, in which he offered a conditional return to peace talks after Israel shut them down two days earlier.

The Israeli official added that the Palestinian leader had "recycled the same conditions, after he already knows Israel won't accept them."

President Abbas had said in a speech to the Palestine Liberation Organization central council in Ramallah that he would return to the negotiating table if if Israel froze construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, freed Palestinian prisoners it promised to release at the beginning of talks, and began discussion on the borders of the future Palestinian state.

Abbas also stressed the new government would "obey" his existing policies, including the recognition of Israel and non-violence.

The speech came after Israel halted talks with the Palestinians on Thursday after a unity agreement was signed between the two largest Palestinian political parties, the PLO-led Fatah and Hamas.

Israel said it refused to engage in negotiations with any party that included Hamas, which it says does not recognize its right to exist and seeks its destruction.

Israel, however, has never recognized the right to exist of the Palestinian state, nor does it abide by non-violence as a principle.
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1 ) Outlier / USA
26/04/2014 22:35
Beware of early assessments. Abbas, having now made a stand for the Palestinian street, may be forced to drop those preconditions so outside aid to the Palestinians does not evaporate.

2 ) JoeFattal / USA
26/04/2014 22:46
The blow to Israel is the unity between both government. Israel benefited by their disunity for one to suspect that Israel probably prefer Hamas to run Gaza to justify their military aggression, and diplomatically rejection of any negotiation.

3 ) Tobias / USA
27/04/2014 02:16
A "DEATH BLOW To Peace" is a death blow TO PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD, but Not a death blow, or even harmful, to the Jewish State of Israel, and Palestinians should realize this, and their need (not Israel's) to restart talks, before all hope is lost for creating a viable Palestinian state, which also will Not be harmful, to the Jewish State of Israel.

4 ) Rami / Palestine
27/04/2014 10:55
The "deathblow" to peace is creating a unified government which has officially stated that it recognizes Israell and will represent ALL of the Palestinian people in the peace talks which the Palestinians are willing to extend as long as Israel doesn't undermine them by building settlements on the lands to be negotiated. Yes, Palestine surely is the deathblow to peace, right? Not the Israelis that won't stop building b/c the $ettlement enterprise is too lucrative of a venture $$$$$...right?

5 ) Abdullah / KSA
27/04/2014 13:45
..."An unnamed [Israeli] official told AFP that Abbas "administered the coup de grace to the peace process today," ... - How eloquently put. Now Israel has the excuse it wanted to walk away and continue building its empire. If it really wanted peace, it could refrain from building on land it doesn't own and come back to talk instead. Olive branches are plenty in the M. East, but of course the non Middle Eastern settlers uproot them, just like the peace talks.
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