Israeli PA Negotiations on Hold for Now, World Waits to Hear From Abbas
During the fifth meeting between Israeli and PA negotiators in under a month, Israeli representative Isaac Molcho presented PA lead negotiator Saeb Erekat with Israel’s position on borders for a future Palestinian state, according to Haaretz.
This marks the first time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has laid out specific details of it’s position on borders, as the Palestinian Authority promised to walk away from negotiations following a January 26th deadline for Israel’s position on the matter to be put forth, which was demanded by the Quartet – United States, European Union, Russia and the United Nations.
According to the Haaretz report, no official documents were given to Erekat but Molcho did tell his PA counterpart that all Israelis currently living in the West Bank will “remain in Israeli territory”.
Thursday the 26th was marked on the calendars of all sides in these negotiations, as Israeli and PA representatives met five times in Amman, Jordan, in hopes of re-starting direct peace negotiations between leaders on both fronts. Following Wednesday’s meeting PA President Mahmoud Abbas stated, “after the conclusion of the exploratory meetings, there will be an evaluation phase,” according to the Palestinian media outlet WAFA.
It’s expected that Abbas will discuss the matter with Arab League officials on February 4th.
Leading into Wednesdays meeting, the international community threw it’s full weight behind continuing direct negotiations, including a trip by EU Foreign Affairs Chief Catherine Ashton to Israel and the West Bank and an announcement from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that he would be traveling to the region as well to help facilitate an extension.