Palestinians Demand Building Freeze Before Cairo Summit

YERUSHALAYIM -

The proposed tripartite summit in Cairo will have to overcome Palestinian condition-making, including the demand for a halt to building in Yehudah and Shomron prior to such a meeting.

The senior Palestinian official said that Mahmoud Abbas would not agree to attend until Israel agrees to a building freeze, accepts a set timeline for negotiations, which would be based on the pre-1967 lines, and undertake before to carry out any agreements reached in the talks.

Such preconditions have impeded the resumption of peace talks, as Israel has consistently maintained that these involve issues which must be addressed through negotiation, not conceded in return for nothing.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said he would meet with Abbas anytime, anywhere, without preconditions. The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that he is willing to participate in a Cairo summit.

A senior Egyptian official told The Times of Israel on Tuesday that Egypt was seeking a formula for renewal of negotiations that would be accepted by both sides. The official said it might be too early to invite both sides to a summit, since the sides did not yet agree about the goals of the talks.