President Mahmoud Abbas Monday said that there are no signs of a near resumption of negotiations with Israel.According to Article V the Oslo Accords (remember those?) the settlements are one of those things to be negotiated:
Abbas said following his meeting with the Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Ramallah that the Palestinians are ready to resume negotiations if Israel halts settlement activities and abide by the international resolution, saying that these aren’t pre-set conditions but obligations based on agreements between Palestinians and Israelis.
Transitional period and permanent status negotiations:
1. The five-year transitional period will begin upon the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Jericho area.Of course, we understand Abbas's problem: he never has negotiated. Negotiation requires give and take. For his part, Abbas has never conceded on any point and has instead has continually demanded concessions from Israel. Thus is was no surprise that after promising to stop the incitement of hatred against Israel, Abbas has continued to publicly honor terrorists who have murdered unarmed Israeli civilians.
2. Permanent status negotiations will commence as soon as possible, but not later than the beginning of the third year of the interim period, between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian people's representatives.
3. It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and co-operation with other neighbours, and other issues of common interest.
4. The two parties agree that the outcome of the permanent status negotiations should not be prejudiced or pre-empted by agreements reached for the interim period.
If Abbas cannot concede on such an obvious point, one can hardly expect him to be a reliable peace partner when it comes to any other issue.
After all, the funds that were withheld after he bypassed talks to try to get the UN to recognize a Palestinian state--now they are flowing into the Arab coffers once again.
Abbas has not shown any interest in peace talks and has never been given any other motivation to negotiate in good faith.
Hat tip: Challah Hu Akbar
Technorati Tag: Israel and Middle East and Peace Talks.