Yitzhak Molcho
Mahmoud Abbas
Photo: AFP

PM's envoy to hand response letter to Abbas

Yitzhak Molcho to meet Palestinian president in Ramallah, deliver letter stipulating Netanyahu's position on borders, security arrangements

A Palestinian official said that Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molcho will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday evening in Ramallah to submit a letter regarding the possibility of substantive talks.


Molcho's letter is a response to a note that Palestinian negotiators gave to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month clarifying their positions if talks were to resume.


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The letter was delivered by chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and Palestinian intelligence chief Majed Faraj during a meeting in Jerusalem last month.


In a draft of the letter, obtained by AFP, Abbas wrote: "The Palestinian Authority has lost its reason d'être," warning that the situation cannot persist.


"Following the government of Israel's continuance policies, the Palestinian Authority has no real power or jurisdiction over political, economic, social, security or territorial matters," Abbas wrote.


Following the meeting, Israeli officials noted that "the exchange of letters will doubtfully change the situation in the political arena," adding that Abbas does not plan on dismantling the PA, despite the threats he has voiced recently.


Another official noted that "the Palestinians are looking for creative ways to reinforce the Authority. They won't throw away the keys because they have too much to lose; therefore Israel's strategy is to disregard threats of disbandment at this point."


Earlier on Saturday, PLO executive committee member Wasil Abu Yousef, who participated in the talks between Israel and the Palestinians in Amman, confirmed that Molcho will arrive in Ramallah on Saturday evening, but did not express optimism over the content of the letter he will hand to Abbas.


"The letter will reflect the issues that were expressed in Amman. They will insist that the Israeli army remains at the borders; they will give us a country that is fragmented to pieces and connected through bridges and tunnels; Jerusalem will remain the Israel's eternal capital of Israel and no solution will be proposed to the Palestinian refugees' problem," he noted.


Abu Yousef added that the PLO executive committee will convene a meeting on Sunday in order to discuss Netanyahu's letter as well as the hunger strike that is being staged by some 1,600 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons.


The executive committee is also expected to discuss the inner-Palestinian reconciliation agreement and changes to the constitution of the Palestinian government.


Associated Press contributed to this report






פרסום ראשון: 05.12.12, 14:08
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