Mahmoud Abbas: I Refuse to Allow 'Israelis' into 'Palestine'
Anwar Abd al-Hadi, director of the PLO Political Department, met with Dr. Faisal Miqdad, deputy Syrian Foreign Minister Foreign Ministry headquarters in Damascus, and briefed him on developments in the negotiations with Israel.
According to the Palestinian news agency Maan, Abd al-Hadi stated that negotiations are stalling due to "Israeli intransigence" and Israel's emphasis on protecting its own security.
The PLO official also stated that Abbas has thrown a wrench into discussions by stating that he will not allow any "Israelis" onto Palestinian Authority lands in the event of a two-state solution - including, ostensibly, Israeli Arabs. According to al-Hadi, Abbas has lumped all Israeli Arabs with Israeli Jews, and has expressed hatred against both as a group.
The report corroborates statements Abbas made earlier this year in Cairo, where he also claimed that he would not tolerate "any Israeli - civilian or soldier - on [Palestinian Authority] lands." While the two-state solution would effectively make a Palestinian State "Judenrein" - a Nazi Germany term meaning "free of Jews" - Israel would still allow Israeli Arabs full citizenship if they so desired.
The two men also allegedly discussed the situation in Syria, particularly regarding developments near Damascus. The region was also hit hard by this weekend's snowstorm, and refugees there have been dying of cold and hunger, reports claim.
The Maan report contradicts statements made by US Secretary of State John Kerry Sunday, who claimed that concrete progress was being made in peace talks, but would not reveal details.
"I'm personally encouraged that very tough issues are beginning to take shape," Kerry was quoted as having said in an interview with ABC's "This Week."
"But we've agreed not to be talking about what we're doing because it just creates great expectations. It creates pressure. It creates opposition, in some cases. I think it's much better for us to do exactly what we've been doing, which is negotiate quietly and privately."