OFFICIALS FROM ISRAEL and the Palestinian Authority have issued a rare joint statement reaffirming their commitment to peace.
The statement was issued following a meeting between Israeli envoy Yitzak Molcho and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office tweeted today that the joint statement said:
Israel and the Palestinian Authority are committed to achieving peace. The sides hope that [the] exchange of letters between President Abbas and PM Netanyahu will further this goal.
Al Jazeera reports that while Netanyahu has called on Abbas to return to peace talks without any pre-conditions, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat says that Abbas could renew his push for UN membership for a Palestine state if the Israeli leader does not respond positively to key issues outlined by Abbas.
Abbas wants to know Israel’s position on a potential two-state solution to the conflict which would be based on pre-1967 borders. He also wants information on the release of all Palestinian prisoners and an end to settlement activity.
Yesterday, the New York Times reported that Abbas said that Palestinian security forces are being denied access to weapons by Israel and that, as a result, security in the West Bank is being hindered. He added that he is seriously concerned about what could happen if any of the hundreds of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike dies.