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February 28, 2014 3:20 pm

Report: Palestinian Authority Preparing to Blame Israel Should Peace Talks Fail

avatar by Gidon Ben-zvi

President Barack Obama meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office in 2009. Photo: White House.

The Palestinian Authority is already preparing to blame Israel should ongoing peace talks with the Jewish state fail, according to an assessment by the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Division of Political Research, Ma’ariv reported on Friday.

The PA has become increasingly vocal about the options available to it should efforts to iron out an agreement reach a dead end, the evaluation says. Chief PA Negotiator Saeb Erekat’s recent warning of a “diplomatic attack” against Israel, should peace not materialize, is but one example of how his organization is planning for the day after, according to the research.

The Foreign Ministry maintains that the PA has lost faith in Secretary of State John Kerry’s ability to deliver a viable framework agreement. According to the report, the PA believes that Kerry has “nothing new” to offer and is ignoring the many messages it sent to President Barack Obama. The PA believes that Kerry is content with “vague solutions” to critical issues such as the status of Jerusalem and final borders, the assessment also said.

Most damaging to the prospects for a peace deal, the report noted that the PA sees the secretary of state as “being inclined to favor Israel.”

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With the United States no longer perceived as an unbiased, honest broker, the PA has hardened its stance on several points, according to the Foreign Ministry estimate. The PA continues to reject the concept of Israel as a Jewish state and is pushing for recognition of East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian State.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas recently confirmed his refusal to recognize the Jewish character of Israel when he decided to remove the category of religion from PA identity cards, the Foreign Ministry noted. Abbas’s move was meant to ridicule the government in Jerusalem since “Israel continues to define itself by religion, while the Palestinian Authority does not,” according to the Division of Political Research.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday. Two weeks later, on March 17, Obama is scheduled to meet Abbas in Washington.

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