Abbas indicates flexibility on Jewish construction on West Bank
NEW YORK (WJC)–Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has signaled that a renewal of settlement construction in the West Bank might not necessarily mean the end of the current peace talks with Israel. Abbas met on the sidelines of the UN summit in New York with American Jewish leaders for dinner. According to a transcript of the event, the Palestinian leader declared: “I can’t say I will leave the negotiations, but it will be very difficult to continue if Netanyahu will announce that he will start building.”
Abbas made it clear that he wanted to continue the dialogue with Israel and signaled that he was backing away from his ultimatum, but he also urged Israel to extend the building restrictions for several months while the sides negotiate the final borders between Israel and a future Palestine. “Let’s demarcate the border now in a short time so that the Israelis can build on their side of the border,” he said, adding “at that time, Israelis will be free to build in their territory and the Palestinians the same,” he said.
He had previously threatened to walk away from peace talks immediately if Israel resumes building in its West Bank settlements after the expiry of ten-month-long construction freeze on Sunday.
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress