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Abbas Rebuffs Obama, Demands New Conditions For Peace Process

President Barack Obama says goodbye to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas after concluding meetings in the West Wing of the White House, March 17.

President Barack Obama says goodbye to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas after concluding meetings in the West Wing of the White House, March 17.

JERUSALEM – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly rebuffed President Obama’s request to support the contents of Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework proposal as a basis for working toward a final peace agreement with Israel.

According to Arab and Israeli media sources, Abbas steadfastly demanded that the White House prod Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into releasing convicted killers Marwan Barghouti and Ahmad Sa’adat. He also reportedly insisted that Israel freeze all settlement construction activities in exchange for extending the peace talks until the end of the year.

The London-based Arab newspaper Al-Hayat said Abbas told Obama that the release of Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences for aiding and abetting in the murder of Israeli civilians, and Sa’adat, who organized the assassination of then-Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi in 2001, would help build confidence between the PA and Israel in the coming months. Israel is tentatively scheduled to release more Palestinian prisoners by the end of next week.

Abbas has been saying publicly that, “we don’t have any time to waste, as time is not on our side, especially given the very difficult situation that the Middle East is experiencing and the entire region is facing.” Meanwhile, media reports indicate that Obama and Kerry are pressing Abbas to be more flexible in his negotiations with Israel by telling him to “make the tough decisions that will be necessary in the weeks ahead.”

Al-Hayat also said that Abbas’s demands are based on his belief that Kerry’s framework proposal is part of agreed-upon “coordinated positions between the Americans and Israelis.”

Israeli newspapers reported several weeks ago that Netanyahu had tentatively agreed to Kerry’s framework proposals as a basis to extend the talks until the end of 2014. But recent statements attributed to Kerry distancing the U.S. from Israel’s key insistence that Abbas and the PA formally recognize Israel as a Jewish state has deflated hopes by Netanyahu and senior Israeli officials for a peace breakthrough. (Kerry’s supposed motivation is to thwart any attempt by Abbas to demand the return of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians into Israel.)

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told a television interviewer earlier this week that he wished that the negotiations would yield some kind of deal but was pessimistic because of Abbas’s defiance.

Yaalon said, “The peace process is: we give and he [Abbas] takes. Based on this, I doubt we will see a peace agreement in my lifetime.” Israel’s chief peace negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, criticized his comments, but former Shin Bet chief Yaakov Peri – who has been a pro-peace advocate within Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid Party – also rebuked Abbas for his stalling tactics and inability to move the peace process forward.

Abbas’s demand for Barghouti’s release comes amid various Israeli TV reports of a power struggle between allies of exiled Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan, a former Palestinian peace negotiator, and Abbas, who wants Barghouti to succeed him as PA head. Abbas has accused Dahlan of trying to overthrow him and of being involved in Yasir Arafat’s death.

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18 Responses to “Abbas Rebuffs Obama, Demands New Conditions For Peace Process”

  1. No freeing prisoners all they going to do is come back and try to do harm to Israeli’s….

  2. Gary Gien says:

    Release them on body bags wrapped in bacon

  3. only if and when Abba recognizes Israel has the Jewish homeland can there be any new discusses about thing and someone needs to tell POTUS that, Bibi….

  4. Ruth Estes says:

    Obama doesn’t need to go against ISRAEL! !!!!!!! Every time Obama does something against ISRAEL something terrible happens.

  5. Abbas can blackmail Obama/Kerry but not Bibi/Yaalon.

  6. No more terrorists released alive, only dead & wrapped in pigskin.

  7. This would kill two birds with one stone:

  8. I see in that photo, two Muslim. the administration obama is disastre.

  9. AND WHO IS TRYING TO FREE JONATHAN POLLARD???

  10. Tell him to get knotted

  11. When did Israel elect Obama? When was Abbas elected over Israel? Israel is not American. So who has the problem?

  12. It’s a disgrace

  13. Chaim Szmidt says:

    Surely you realize that Abbas' intransigence and lack of interest in peace is all dem Jooz' fault. Why don't we just give him everything he wants and dreams of? What's the worst that can happen? Kerry will get his first Nobel Peace Prize, Obama his second and the glorious Jihadis – hiding behind their wives skirts or their children's baby carriages – will exterminate the Jews. Obama and Kerry will then have gotten rid of one of the Middle East problems. Brilliant solution, no?

  14. It's past time that the Israeli government say NO!!!! and called the international media in and Explain the reason by showing the names of captured Palestinian terrorists and their crimes,also those that have been released.List the number of rocket attacks aimed at Israeli population centers,,show the Hamas Charter,the Fatah constitution,the Palestinian maps that have replaced the Jewish State with a Arab Palestinian Muslim State,document the hatred of Jews in Palestinian school books,the Palestinian media,mosques etc.HEADLINE THIS WITH DO YOU WANT THESE PEOPLE NEXT TO YOU,YOUR WIVES,YOUR CHILDREN.

  15. It is not surprising in international politics and the 'circus diplomacy" of US and the Middle East. US really believe that they can impose a solution from top down without understanding the real issues?……that is why Russia and Iran are the victorious one as they have applied a more strategic approach than Obama administration who appears not having a clue on world affairs and an empty foreign policy.

  16. Why has "that woman", Tzipi not been removed as a negotiater.
    She is not 100% Israel. She would sell her mother to Abbas for a false peace.

  17. Sientje Seinen says:

    chaim Szmidt of course the world always needs a scapegoat and why not them Jews like you say, it is the mentality of those who do not know or fear the Lord G-d of Israel. shalom and G-d bless israel and its people May He surround you with His steadfast love during this troubling times.

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