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Report: Israel Offers PA to Postpone UN Bid for Negotiations

Kuwaiti daily reports the PA is considering Israeli offer to postpone the unilateral statehood bid and immediately begin negotiations.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 9/8/2011, 1:16 AM

Netanyahu and Abbas
Netanyahu and Abbas
Israel News photo: Flash 90

The Kuwaiti daily Al-Jarida has reported that the Palestinian Authority is considering an Israeli offer to postpone the unilateral statehood bid at the UN for at least one year and to immediately begin negotiations for a permanent peace agreement.

According to the report, which was translated and presented on the website of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) on Wednesday, the offer was made to the PA during secret negotiations which have been ongoing for several months in various Arab and European countries.

According to the report in the Kuwaiti daily, the negotiations also included meetings between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in which they discussed the possibility of holding a formal meeting between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu promised the U.S. to return to negotiations if an agreement on scheduling was reached.

The report stressed that Netanyahu shared the negotiation details with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and opposition leader Tzipi Livni.

Meanwhile, MEMRI also reported that a website close to Abbas’ Fatah party reported that Abbas advisor Nimer Hammad said that if Dennis Ross and David Hale, the U.S. envoys visiting the region, would make offers that meet the PA’s demands of halting Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and recognizing a Palestinian state along the 1949 armistice lines, the PA would forgo an appeal to the UN.

The report comes after on Wednesday, the United States formally asked Ramallah to drop its bid for recognition of a PA state based and pre-1967 lines.

The request was relayed to Abbas by Hale during a meeting in Ramallah, officials said. The meeting was also attended by Ross and by U.S. Consul-General in Jerusalem, Daniel Rubenstien.

The report also seems to be in line with another report earlier this week which said that Abbas and Barak held a meeting in Amman on August 24.

Abbas, who told reporters in Ramallah about the meeting, refused to specify the circumstances behind it and simply said the two ‘discussed a number of issues.’