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July 9, 2012 9:11 am

Abbas Rejects Netanyahu’s Offer to Restart Peace Talks

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PA President Mahmoud Abbas (right) with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Photo: wiki commons.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered to release over 100 Palestinian prisoners in order to restart peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, according to Israel’s Channel 2 News, however the plan was rejected by PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

According to the report, Abbas rejected the proposal for a number of reasons including Israel’s choosing of the prisoners to be released and the Palestinian Authority’s demand that all prisoners arrested before the Oslo Accords be set free.

“Abu Mazen (Abbas) insists on the release of all prisoners arrested before the Oslo Accords, in accordance with Sharm el-Sheikh, which requires Israel to release all prisoners detained before the establishment of the PA,” said Palestinian Authority official Issa Kraka.

PA officials in the West Bank released a statement from Ramallah today, saying that their expectations are formed on the basis of what former Israeli leader Ehud Olmert offered, which included Israel sharing Jerusalem with a future Palestinian state.

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“Mahmoud Abbas demands that Israel implement all of what was promised by the former prime minister Ehud Olmert,” the PA statement on Monday read.

Olmert and Abbas engaged in peace talks in 2007  and at the time Olmert told the Palestinian leader that once a deal was reached to free Gilad Shalit from captivity under Hamas, Israel would release Fatah prisoners.  The PA maintains that this agreement should stand under the current Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu.

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