Fancy strategy:
Will Abbas surrender freeze?

Advisor to PA chairman says Abbas willing to cede building freeze as precondition for opening negotiations, contrary to previous position.

Mordechai Sones ,

Unconvinced: Trump and Abbas
Unconvinced: Trump and Abbas
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The issue of the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria has in recent years been the main obstacle to renewing the political negotiations between Israel and the PA.

However, this morning (Thursday), Bloomberg news agency quoted an adviser to the PA Chairman, Mahmoud Mustafa, as saying that Abbas is prepared to give up this condition and allow negotiations to begin without a construction freeze.

Mustafa, who serves as senior economic adviser to Abbas and previously served as PA Deputy Prime Minister, said the reason for the concession was the desire to allow the resumption of negotiations.

In 2009 Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu capitulated to the pressure of then-US President Barack Obama and officially declared a construction freeze in all areas of Judea and Samaria.

Despite the freeze, the PA delayed entry into negotiations with Israel until the end of the freeze, and when the freeze ended, they announced a suspension of negotiations that has not been renewed since.