Israeli letter not enough to revive talks, Palestinians say

Israeli letter not enough to revive talks, Palestinians say

An Israeli letter handed to the Palestinians was not enough to revive peace talks, because it gave no "clear answers" to Palestinian conditions for such talks, officials said Sunday, DPA reported.

Those conditions were first and foremost a cessation of Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, they reiterated.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's envoy, Yitzhak Molcho, handed the letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a meeting late Saturday in Ramallah.

Abbas briefed the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Sunday, whose executive committee dismissed the letter in a statement as including no "clear answers about the central issues that block the resumption of the peace process."

These issues were Israel's ongoing settlement expansion as well as its failure to recognize the border lines from before the 1967 war - when it captured the West Bank from Jordan and the Gaza Strip from Egypt - as the basis for talks.

The PLO body also called for the release of Palestinian prisoners.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu's spokesman Mark Regev reiterated the Israeli position that talks should be revived "without any preconditions."

The Abbas-Molcho meeting was the first since the centrist Kadima faction joined the premier's right-wing coalition last week, forming a government of national unity with an avowed key goal of reviving the peace talks.

Despite the ongoing stalemate, the two sides earlier issued a rare joint statement after the parley.

"Israel and the Palestinian Authority are committed to achieving peace, and the sides hope that the exchange of letters between President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu will further this goal," the statement said.

Netanyahu also addressed his unity cabinet's first session in Jerusalem.

"I hope that we will be able to advance the dialogue between the sides in order to resume the diplomatic talks," the premier said.

Abbas said his meeting with Molcho had focused mostly on the mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

"We are working to end this crisis as soon as possible," he told the PLO executives.

More than 4,000 Palestinians are jailed in Israel for security-related offences, but the Palestinians consider them to be political prisoners. Most are militants, but they also include Hamas lawmakers.

The hunger striking prisoners' demands include visiting rights for their Gazan relatives, disallowed since the radical Islamist movement seized sole control of the coastal enclave in 2007.

They also want an end to Israel's controversial use of so-called 'administrative detention', which allows it to jail suspected militants deemed a security risk for extendable periods of six months, without charge and based on secret intelligence shown only to a military judge.

Regev did not comment on speculation of behind-the-scenes negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians in a bid to end the hunger strike, possibly this week.

The mass hunger strike will enter its fifth week on Tuesday, while two are said to have been without food for over 75 days - although the Israeli prison service says they are on intravenous drips.

Abbas said it would be "a national disaster" if any of the hunger strikers was hurt.

The PLO called on all Palestinians to fast Monday in solidarity with the prisoners.

The Israeli government bore "full responsibility" for their lives, its statement said, calling on Israel to meet the hunger strikers' "just and legitimate" demands.

Meanwhile Sunday, dozens of Palestinian protesters blocked the entrances to United Nations offices and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza City.

"Shut down until the demands of the prisoners are met!" they spray-painted on the walls.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks stalled in September 2010, when Israel failed to extend a 10-month partial moratorium on construction in its West Bank settlements, arguing that the Palestinians had left it to the last minute before agreeing to negotiate.

Since then, Israel has insisted on negotiations without preconditions, while Abbas has demanded a new settlement freeze.

Abbas fears that it would jeopardize a viable Palestinian state if settlements continued to expand while open-ended negotiations were underway. He has warned that the Palestinians will resume their efforts for UN recognition if negotiations are not renewed.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Iran, Uzbekistan to develop transit ties
Iran, Uzbekistan to develop transit ties
Iran’s exports from West Azerbaijan Province increase
Iran’s exports from West Azerbaijan Province increase
Iran’s POGC unveils volume of gas extracted from South Pars gas field
Iran’s POGC unveils volume of gas extracted from South Pars gas field
Loading Bars
Latest
Rothschild & Co eyes creation of special financial zones in Georgia
Azerbaijan increases share of natural gas in exports
Annual inflation to be above target range in Azerbaijan - CBA
Turkmen enterprise eyes to expand tomato production
Non-OPEC won’t return to pre-COVID levels of oil output
Azerbaijan defense minister expresses condolences to Pakistan
Additional barrels from OPEC+ back to market in 2022 to be less than headline figure
Azerbaijan continues restoration and construction work on its liberated lands
Kazakh president elected chairman of Nur Otan Party
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev awards WCO Sec-Gen with 'Dostlug' order
Global oil demand to surpass pre-pandemic levels this year
Uzbekistan plans to implement new projects jointly with AIIB
After 20 years, privatisation programme in India off to 'Maharaja' start
Armenian troops open fire at Azerbaijani positions in direction of Tovuz district
No talks on currency swap deal between Azerbaijani, Turkish central banks - chairman
Azerbaijan reveals inflation rate for 2021
Buta Airways to start operating flights to Kharkiv in May and increase number of flights to Kiev
Georgia’s Rural Development Agency talks co-op with international agencies in 2022 (Exclusive)
Eni to develop innovative technology for use of CO2
New opportunities for co-op appeared in region after end of conflict between Armenia, Azerbaijan – President Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijan developing mechanisms for financing business in liberated lands
Uzbekistan sees increase in volume of car exports
Central Bank of Azerbaijan increases interest rate
Integration of arable land at Azerbaijani liberated territories into national crop rotation to improve food security - FAO (Exclusive)
Ukrainian Ministry of Economy discloses trade turnover data with Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan Entrepreneurship Dev't Fund talks soft loans for 2022
Bank of Georgia allocates funds for local solar power plant construction
Turkmen agriculture ministry opens tender to purchase plant protection chemicals
Uzbekistan to reduce methane emissions
Azerbaijan eyes turning local payment system into neo-bank
Uzbekneftegaz JSC, Tatneft PJSC discuss implementation of investment projects
Azerbaijan Entrepreneurship Development Fund unveils volume of soft loans issued in 2021
Georgia shares data on number of plastic cards in circulation
Azerbaijani oil prices down
Kazakh-Chinese oil company extends tender to buy spares for pumps
Azerbaijani doctor discloses most effective way to protect against omicron variant of COVID-19
TCS world's second most valuable IT brand, Infy fastest growing
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev holds videoconference meeting with WCO Sec-Gen (PHOTO)
Uzbekistan establishes export of agricultural products to Latvia
Swiss train manufacturer eyes building factory in Georgia
Azerbaijan launches Tableau program for analyzing indicators of import, export operations
Azerbaijan preparing action plan within "Peace for Culture" initiative - ministry
Turkmenistan proposes to include Turkmenbashi Port in INSTC
Azerbaijan, Georgia to conduct joint tourist trips
Robinhood posts $423 mln net loss, shares sink after hours
MOEX index up 1.23% at trade start
Toyota remains world's biggest car seller, widens lead on VW
Azerbaijani currency rates for January 28
Germany’s RBC Consulting eyes expanding co-op with Azerbaijani companies
Oil heads for sixth weekly gain amid supply concerns
India's gold demand to keep rising after big jump in 2021: WGC
Number of cyberattacks on Azerbaijani companies tripled in 2021 - Span Azerbaijan
Kyrgyzstan reports about 11 servicemen injured as result of conflict on border with Tajikistan
Australia drugs regulator approves COVID-19 boosters for 16- and 17-year-olds
We will solve everything through negotiations, peacefully - Kyrgyz president about conflict on border with Tajikistan
Croatian companies preliminary talks on investment opportunities in Azerbaijani liberated territories - ambassador (Interview) (PHOTO)
Iranian National Soccer Team wins its way into World Cup
Situation on Kyrgyz-Tajik section of state border is stable
Three more citizens of Kyrgyzstan injured as result of conflict on border
Turkey's daily COVID-19 caseload hits new high of 82,180
3 police officers shot in U.S. Houston, suspect at large
Brazil's top court subpoenas Bolsonaro in leaked documents case
Morocco extends health emergency state until Feb. 28
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan agree on ceasefire and military withdrawal from border
N.Korea confirms latest weapons tests
Kyrgyzstan evacuates 1,470 residents from villages bordering Tajikistan
Jordan says 27 drug smugglers killed at border with Syria
Turkish 'kindness train' departs for Afghanistan with 748 tons of aid
Representatives of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan hold meeting on incident at border
EMA conditionally approves Pfizer's COVID-19 pill
Georgia – Uzbekistan trade turnover up
Tajikistan reports civilian casualties as result of incident on the border
Kyrgyz Border Service: Tajik side again violated bilateral ceasefire agreements
Tajik side does not cease fire and continues to pull up military equipment, personnel
Turkey calls for thaw in Ukraine - Russia tensions
Civil protection services of Kyrgyzstan transferred to emergency mode
Tajikistan pulls heavy equipment to the border - State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan
Five Tajik citizens injured in conflict on border with Kyrgyzstan
Iran, Uzbekistan to develop transit ties
Turkish Airlines' Chairman of the Board of Directors resigns
Azerbaijan's Zangilan Airport to be included into ICAO catalog
Chairman of Azerbaijan's National Television and Radio Council talks details of switching to HD format (Exclusive)
Azerbaijan records increase in loans issued for real estate sector
Uzbekistan shares data on interest expenses of banking sector for 2021
Uzbekistan shares data on regulatory capital of its banks for 2021
Kazakh president suggests to set up transport and logistics consortium with India
Trade turnover between Central Asian countries and India unveiled
Launch of Azerbaijani-Armenian border delimitation to help prevent incidents - Russian MFA
Azerbaijan launches engineering-geological studies in Aghdam Industrial Park
Azerbaijan's Anglo Asian Mining increases its stake in Canadian mining company
Turkmenistan and US discuss bilateral cooperation
Azerbaijan announces auction to privatize state enterprises, vehicles
Azerbaijani gymnast to participate in Trampoline Gymnastics World Cup in Baku
Turkmen Khazar consortium announces tender for tubing repair
Azerbaijan records increase in export of products by industrial zones
Azerbaijan to hold auction for helicopters (PHOTO)
European natural gas prices to fall this year
Armenian PM may visit Turkey
Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan hold another meeting on "Dostlug" field
Global oil market to flip into surplus in 2022
All news