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      PLO: No Clear Answers in Netanyahu's Letter

      PLO says Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s response to Abbas’ letter did not include any clear answers regarding central issues.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 5/14/2012, 2:14 AM

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

      The PLO Executive Committee said on Sunday that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s response to Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Chairman Abbas’ letter did not include any clear answers regarding central issues obstructing the peace process.

      According to a report in the PA-based WAFA news agency, the committee, during its meeting in Ramallah, said Netanyahu’s response to Abbas’ letter did not answer major issues, mainly freezing Jewish construction in the ‘disputed territories’, establishing a Palestinian state within the indefensible pre-1967 borders and committing to release Arab prisoners.

      The statement, said the report, affirmed the committee’s support to Abbas’ position stressing the importance of solving the prisoners issue and ending their suffering by responding to their demands.

      The committee also called on the international Quartet to intervene to overcome obstacles in the peace process’ way.

      Abbas received Netanyahu's response through Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molcho during a meeting between the two in Ramallah on Saturday night.

      A joint Israel-PA statement produced after the meeting said that “Israel and the PA are committed to achieving peace and the parties hope that the exchange of letters between Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu will contribute to this.”

      The letter Molcho gave to Abbas contains Netanyahu’s response to a letter that was handed to Netanyahu by a PA delegation on April 17.

      In the letter, Abbas demanded that Israel accept the indefensible pre-1967 lines as borders for a future PA state, halt all construction in the 'disputed territories,' and release all Arab terrorists from its prisons.

      In a speech in Cairo two weeks before the letter was given to Netanyahu, Abbas revealed some of its contents, saying that the letter says, “Because of you, the Palestinian Authority is no longer an authority. You took all its powers and liabilities. We have nothing left, is that acceptable to you or not?”