Daily Israel Report

PA is 'Interested in Renewing Peace Talks'

Senior PLO official tells leftists demand for '1967 borders' and Hamas unity not up for negotiation, threatens 'price for absence of peace.'
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 5/8/2014, 9:50 PM

Nabil Sha'ath
Nabil Sha'ath
Flash 90

Nabil Sha'ath, a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and a close confidant of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, says the PA wants to renew peace talks.

Speaking on Thursday at a conference of the far-left Meretz party in Tel Aviv, Sha'ath claimed "we are interested in renewing the talks."

Sha'ath clarified "there are topics that are open for negotiations, and they are the core issues, while on the other hand there are topics that are not up for negotiations: the Palestinians' right of self-definition in the 1967 borders, and the right of unity in the Palestinian nation."

In his statement, Sha'ath demands the 1949 Armistice line as a non-negotiable border, ostensibly allowing the talks only to determine what beyond Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem the PA can get from Israel.

The latter topic refers to a unity deal between Abbas's Fatah faction and Hamas in late March, which led to the collapse of the peace talks ahead of their April 29 deadline.

"The advantages of peace are clear, but there has to be a price for the absence of peace," threatened Sha'ath.

Sha'ath last November revealed that the PA was staying in the peace talks only to release more terrorists promised as "gestures" for the talks.

In December he stated that the PA would need to use what he termed “smart resistance” in 2014, namely by joining more UN organizations and dedicating efforts to achieve the reconciliation with Hamas.

Hamas for its part continues to be adamant over its control of a "unity" government, expressing over and over again that it would remain in control of both Gaza and the PA-held areas after elections, and insisting that Ismail Haniyeh would rule the government.