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MK: Want Peace? Ignore Abbas’ Demands

PA’s unrealistic demands amount to peace refusal, and giving in will just make it worse, MK warns.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 6/30/2013, 8:27 AM

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority’s unreasonable preconditions for negotiations with Israel amount to a refusal to make peace, MK Nissan Slomiansky of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) faction said Saturday night.

Giving in to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ demands will just make it worse, he warned.

“The Palestinians need negotiations more than we do. Setting preconditions to beginning talks that include releasing terrorists is like refusing to progress towards peace,” he said.

“Giving in on the preconditions will just entrench the Palestinians in their hard-line positions, and will prevent future progress,” he warned.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has demanded that Israel free terrorist prisoners and allow the PA police to further arm itself as a precondition to negotiations.

He has also demanded a full ban on construction in Israeli communities east of the 1949 armistice line. A previous construction ban failed to lure Abbas to the negotiating table.

Earlier Saturday MK Gila Gamliel (Likud) voiced similar views. “The demands are ridiculous,” she declared. “The Prime Minister has clarified that Israel is not prepared to accept preconditions, and I have no doubt that most Members of Knesset – including those who consider themselves politically centrist – will support the Prime Minister in this stance.”

“The Palestinians’ absurd demand exposes their intentions and clarifies, as always, that there is no partner for talks on the other side,” she added.

Netanyahu met with United States Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday night. Netanyahu reportedly informed Kerry of his willingness to begin negotiations, and said he was willing to discuss Abbas’ precondition of a building freeze.