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Abbas: No peace with Israel without defining borders
Published Tuesday 29/04/2014 (updated) 18/05/2014 11:09
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President Mahmoud Abbas attends a meeting of Palestinian
businessmen from East Jerusalem, at the Palestinian Authority
headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on April 29, 2014
(AFP Abbas Momani)
RAMALLAH (AFP) -- There can be no peace with Israel without first defining the borders of a future Palestinian state, president Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday.

"Since the creation of Israel, nobody knows what the borders are. We are determined to know our borders and theirs, without that there will be no peace," he said as Washington's nine-month deadline for reaching a peace deal expired, leaving the process in tatters.

In a televised address, Abbas laid out his conditions for returning to the crisis-hit peace talks with Israel which have made no progress since they were launched on July 29 last year.

"If we want to extend the negotiations there has to be a release of prisoners ... a settlement freeze, and a discussion of maps and borders for three months during which there must be a complete halt to settlement activity," he said.

Although the talks made little visible progress, they hit a major stumbling block in late March when Israel refused to honor a commitment to free two dozen veteran Palestinian prisoners, prompting Abbas to resume recognition moves by signing 15 international treaties.

Furious, Israel immediately unveiled economic sanctions by freezing tax monies it collects on behalf of Ramallah and suspending a joint natural gas drilling project off the Gaza coast.

A senior Israeli official said there would be no further talks unless Abbas renounced a reconciliation pact signed last week with Hamas, under which the two rival Palestinian administrations would seek to form a new government of technocrats.

"The moment that Mahmoud Abbas gives up the alliance with Hamas, a murderous organization which calls for the destruction of the state of Israel, we will be ready to return immediately to the negotiating table and discuss all subjects," he told AFP.

On April 24, a day after the unity deal was announced, the Israeli security cabinet said it would not negotiate with any Palestinian government backed by Hamas, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying Abbas would have to choose between peace with the Islamist movement, or peace with Israel.

PLO official Saeb Erekat said Tuesday that Israel actively sabotaged any chance for a two-state solution.

"To build settlements in occupied land, kill Palestinians and demolish hundreds of Palestinian homes is certainly not the behavior of a government that wants to end occupation but of a government that wants to turn occupation into annexation."

Rather than use the nine-month deadline to achieve a two-state solution, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used "every possible tool in order to consolidate its Apartheid regime," Erekat said.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report
1 ) Outlier / USA
29/04/2014 19:37
He is right, but he is wrong to think those borders will meet his previously stated preconditions.

2 ) karl / Germany
29/04/2014 19:38
Why can't the one Jewish state be allowed to exist?

3 ) A Defining / Certainty
29/04/2014 20:24
Two Things Are Certain:
-1- Israel does NOT expect "peace without defining borders", and
probably it does Not expect peace even after defining borders, so for Israel
it may be better to keep the increased security & expansion potential,
that having undefined borders provides, and
-2- Palestine should NOT expect borders "without defining peace", and
definitely Not borders even close to the 1948-1967 lines, that once divided two different states, the States of Israel and Jordan !!

4 ) JoeFattal / USA
29/04/2014 20:34
Israel's obligations as an occupying power under international law is being violated and the Palestinians can sue Israel for illegal occupation. Instead to be talking and arguying who gets what, where and when the Palestinians needs to take it to the international court and argue about it there. Its a case that the international court is there to solve. Nobody can be that blind to see that is an illegal occupation. Even Hitler had better sense not to replace Polish with German citizens.

5 ) jesse / usa
29/04/2014 20:35
So what does the PA be willing to give in return for all these demands?

6 ) Lynx / Palestine
29/04/2014 21:04
poor President Abbas...he has clearly lost touch with reality...the old bugger's lived the better half of his life designing, planning & negotiating for a 2-state solution. What Israel and the US gave him is a pie in the face. It's about time the PA wake up and dissolve, the occupation cost must be borne by the Apartheid regime in Tel Aviv.

7 ) Carol Scheller / Switzerland
29/04/2014 21:06
It makes sense.

8 ) Jane / pA
29/04/2014 21:36
Time to be ritired with all friends around! Erakt will leave his V.I.P card also. There is a new generation. .

9 ) Mark / USA
29/04/2014 23:17
Borders? What Borders? The zionist terrorists want all Palestinians to cross any border and leave the area. Then they will be happy!

10 ) dustyn / usa
29/04/2014 23:41
C'mon guys can't you guys split it up, and be fine with that instead of killing thousands of people over land the size of new jersey.

11 ) ENOUGH with these lies / Abbas is nothing
30/04/2014 07:50
but the PUPPET FOR ISLAM As long as ISLAM does NOT accept a JEWISH ENTITY in its midst (acknowledging the words of Koran that the Holy land belongs to the people of MOSES)--there will NOT BE PEACE This is a RELIGIOUS WAR, Pure and simple. This is why Jerusalem is so important to the "palestinians"!! This will take 200 years before ISLAM accepts ISRAEL Until then we live by DAR EL HARB

12 ) Rami / Palestine
30/04/2014 08:02
Sit back and enjoy the show, folks. The real Israel is starting to emerge and its not a pretty picture. Let them do what they want, deploy sanctions, freeze money, stop coordination, they're only showing how anti-democratic, anti-peace they really are. let them show their true insanity. This is the best thing that ever happened to the Palestinian PR machine.

13 ) Anwar / Qatar
30/04/2014 14:29
@5 jessie usa, Israel's had & done nearly everything to the PA, what else could it want?

14 ) Qassim / Egypt
30/04/2014 14:55
Dar al harb, dar al salem, kuli shayin naseeb. (everything is written). Abu Mazen is entitled to list his demands for peace talks & so is Bibi. Until they both agree & get back around the table, nothing will go anywhere. For sure the unity deal is the the best thing that happened to Palestine, no way should that be revoked. The people of Moses aley salem are long gone, only remnants remain now. Al Quds belongs to Palestine. There is no war between Bani Israel & Islam. This is about land & rights

15 ) Two Important Things / Truth & Realism
30/04/2014 21:55
1- Truthfully, neither side "rejects peace", and both reject compromise, and
2- Realistically, the one that is least happy in the interim will have to make most of the compromises, in recognition, borders, capitals, and refugees, or
* The No-State & No-Peace Situation Will Continue Forever !!

16 ) @ Rami-12 / USA
30/04/2014 22:04
Sticks & Stones can break our bones, but your name calling,
"anti-democratic & anti-peace" will never hurt us, so
- We Will "sit back and enjoy the show," and
- It IS "a pretty picture" of green fields, prosperous industries,
on our ancestral homeland, with reverence for God and nature.
- Israel Is So Beautiful In So Many Ways, despite a few problems !!!
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