Palestinian Authority President Abbas Admits Rejecting Israeli Peace Deal in 2008 (VIDEO)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas turned down a 2008 peace plan laid out by former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, in which 90% of the West Bank would have been given to the Palestinians, Abbas told Israel’s Channel 10.
Interviewed in a three-part series on the peace negotiations in 2000 (between the PA and then-Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, under the auspices of president Bill Clinton at Camp David), and in 2008 with Olmert under the brokerage of the international Quartet group of nations, Abbas said he turned down Olmert’s realignment plan outright, because he was not given a physical copy of the map delineating the borders of a Palestinian state — and he was concerned about the future of any agreement with a leader embroiled in a corruption scandal related to his tenure as mayor of Jerusalem.
Palestinian and Israeli leaders have said before that Abbas rejected Olmert’s peace plan, according to which Israel would hand over more than 90% of the West Bank territory captured during the Six Day War in 1967, while retaining the major settlement blocs.
According to The Tower magazine, this interview was the first time Abbas admitted to having rejected Olmert’s deal.
In the same series, Olmert claimed that Abbas initially only offered to let Israel retain 1.9% of the territories — which Olmert called “a joke.”
Olmert recounted telling Abbas: “I promise you, 50 years will pass before another Israeli prime minister offers you what I am proposing.” He then said the two would receive the accolades of world leaders in a Jerusalem ceremony after ratification by the UN Security Council.
Ultimately, Olmert resigned from the Kadima party leadership over corruption charges; the peace negotiations ended without tangible results; and Abbas is still head of the PA.
Watch the full series [Hebrew], below: