Palestinians Offer Renewed Talks, If Israel Calls Off Annexation

YERUSHALAYIM -
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh stands next to him in Ramallah, June 15, 2020. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)

The Palestinians, in an apparent bid to pre-empt Israeli plans for unilateral annexation of parts of Yehuda and Shomron, said on Monday they would be willing to renew peace talks with Israel on condition that current plans are dropped.

A Palestinian Authority text sent to the international peacemaking Quartet, and seen Monday by AFP, said that the Palestinians are “ready to resume direct bilateral negotiations where they stopped,” in 2014.

The PA said the counter-proposal would be withdrawn if Israel went ahead with annexation “of any part of the Palestinian territory.”

In a four-page letter to the Quartet of the United Nations, United States, Russia, and the European Union, they said:

“We are ready to have our state with a limited number of weapons and a powerful police force to uphold law and order,” along with an international force such as NATO, to monitor compliance with any eventual peace treaty.

The text also allows for “minor border changes that will have been mutually agreed, based on the borders of June 4, 1967,” without further specifics.

The Trump administration peace plan, which provides for the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, on reduced territory and without the Palestinians’ core demand of a capital in East Jerusalem, as well as abandonment of the so-called right of return of refugees, has been rejected in its entirety by the Palestinians.