Are Israel and the Palestinian Authority on their way to renewing talks? The London-based Arabic newspaper al-Hayat reported on Thursday that Jordan's
King Abdullah II will try to bring the two sides back to exploratory talks following the Israeli elections - based on the assumption that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
will continue to lead the government.
According to the newspaper's sources, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
was presented this offer during King Abdullah's visit to the West Bank city of Ramallah last week.
According to diplomatic sources, Jordan is requesting to renew talks based on the regional changes which occurred as of late. These include the upgrade of the Palestinians' status as a non-member observer state in the United Nations, Operation Pillar of Defense
and the upcoming Israeli elections.
The same sources noted that Abbas told Abdullah that any negotiation must be based on Israel's recognition of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.
Another condition is that Israel stop construction in the settlements and that negotiations will start from the point at which they left off under former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's
The sources estimated that Abbas will agree to such talks in Jordan for a short period of time in order to assess the Israeli stance based on the recent changes, but he will retract if he sees that no change has been made on the Israeli side.
The London-based newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat quoted Palestinian sources as stating that the leadership is prepared to return to the negotiation table with Israel and that Abbas and Abdullah have agreed upon this – under the condition that construction in the settlements is halted.