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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777
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Palestinians Reject Netanyahu’s Offer to Renew Direct Talks


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PA officials On Sunday night rejected the new Israeli proposal to resume direct peace talks, arguing that the letter was delivered from the Netanyahu government is lacking regarding already existing Palestinian demands.

Netanyahu’s envoy to the negotiations with the Palestinians, Attorney Yitzhak Molcho, on Saturday night delivered a letter to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, with detailed Israeli positions regarding the resumption of talks. On Sunday Abbas presented the contents of the letter to the PLO Executive Committee.

And Wasel Abu Youssef, a member of the PA Executive Committee, said the letter “spoke of a Jewish state alongside a viable Palestinians state,” but made no reference at all to halting construction in the settlements or returning to the 1967 lines, and repeated Netanyahu’s position that the talks should be resumed without any preconditions.

Netanyahu insists that all the issues on which there is a dispute between the parties must be resolved in negotiations.

An official statement issued by the executive committee stated that the letter “does not have clear answers about the core issues challenging the renewal of the peace process”.

Mahmoud Abbas is expected to consult with Arab leaders in the coming days in order to formulate an official response to the Israeli letter.

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