Chief Palestinian Authority negotiator, Saeb Erekat, commented this morning (Sunday) to Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) that he and his colleagues had advised PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to leave the negotiating table. "We gave him the option to retire," Erekat said, "but he said he will not until the fourth prisoner release, which is scheduled for March."
It should be noted that amongst the prisoners due to be released are those who have blood on their hands and who are either Israeli citizens or residents of eastern Jerusalem, which has been long thought of as Israel's "red line".
MK Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) commented to Galei Tzahal in response that they would be holding back on the last release until Abbas clarified his position on returning to the negotiating table.
"Come. Let's see if the Palestinians even agree to return to negotiations," Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said during an interview with Channel 2, adding "As far as I see it, we are still very far from that point at this time."