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February 22, 2013 11:39 am

Fatah Official Reiterates Demands that Peace Talks Hinge on Settlement Freeze

avatar by Zach Pontz

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President Barack Obama with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Huffington Post.

A Senior Fatah official reiterated to Ma’an News Agency Friday that the Palestinian Authority leadership is ready to negotiate with Israel if it stops building settlements and releases Palestinian Arab prisoners.

Mohammad Shtayyeh told Ma’an an end to settlement activity and the release of prisoners were a necessary precondition for the resumption of talks.

The comments were in response to a news report on Israel’s Channel 10 that said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu planned to resume talks with the PLO within three months of forming a new government.

Israel agreed to a 10-month settlements freeze in 2009, but it was almost over by the time the two leaders finally began negotiations in September 2010. Building resumed when the freeze expired and Israel maintains that settlement activity has no bearing on the peace process because all territory is up for discussion when talks resume.

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  • M.Otero

    The day that the conference actually begins, we can offer to stop work on that date. Our contingency is that any final agreement must be held up until Justice for the Jews from Arab Countries is resolved. 600,000 Arabs made themselves refugees and 850,000 Jews were made refugees.
    The Arab League precipitated both misfortunes and must ultimately be held accountable for both as well.