Netanyahu rejects any preconditions for direct talks
NAZARETH, Israeli media sources have confirmed that the Israeli government has informed the US envoy for the peace process in the region, George Mitchell, of its rejection of the Palestinian preconditions for the renewal of bilateral direct talks. These included the recent announcement by the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, that direct negotiations would be based on a statement by the Quartet issued in March 2009.
According to Ha’aretz and Maariv newspapers on Thursday 12th August, during the latest US-Israel meeting, ex-Senator Mitchell introduced a new formula for the Palestinian terms for the transition to direct negotiations, which stipulated a resumption of the negotiating process between Ramallah and Tel Aviv on the basis of that statement. The Quartet said talks should proceed for a period of 24 months, with the aim of establishing a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders and the goal of ending the Israeli occupation of lands that were occupied in the year 1967, in addition to halting all settlement activities and the destruction of Palestinian homes.
The media reports said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considered this formula to be “an attempt to impose Palestinian preconditions through the back door” and confirmed to the American envoy his absolute rejection of them.