Abbas: Peace Process Clinically Dead
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday said Sunday that the peace process with Israel is "clinically dead" just days before PA negotiator Saeb Erakat meets U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"The peace process is clinically dead and the Israeli side is definitely the one responsible," Abbas said at a conference in Ramallah, according to the AFP news agency. "The ball is in their court."
Negotiations between Israel and the PA have been moribund since late 2010, with the PA refusing to return to negotiations without a freeze on building for Jews in Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron). The PA also demands that Israel agree to accept 199 Armistice lines as the basis for the talks.
Israel has said it wants an immediate return to the negotiating table -- but without these preconditions.
"I was assigned by President Abbas to inform US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of our position on resuming negotiations once Israel commits to stopping settlement activity and release of prisoners, among other obligations," Erakat told AFP on Sunday. "These are not preconditions but obligations and Israel must abide by them," he said.
"We hope the American administration compels the Israeli government to fulfill its obligations in order to get the peace process back on track."