Herzog Speaks to Abbas, Urges Resumption of Talks

Opposition leader speaks to PA Chairman, asks him to resume peace talks with Israel and to refrain from unilateral steps.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Herzog and Abbas (archive)
Herzog and Abbas (archive)
Flash 90

Opposition leader and Labor party chairman MK Yitzhak Herzog on Friday spoke with Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the first conversation between an Israeli leader and Abbas since the end of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

Writing about the conversation in a post on his Facebook page, Herzog said he had asked the PA leader to resume peace talks with Israel and to refrain from unilateral steps.

“I told him that after the war there is a rare opportunity for a regional diplomatic settlement, and that the core of such an arrangement would be stable and strong security arrangements. It is also a Palestinian interest,” wrote Herzog.

“I pointed out that it is necessary to avoid unilateral diplomatic measures that would harm the chances of reaching an arrangement and instead the parties must enter real negotiations on the basis of the security principles and defining the borders first,” he continued.

According to Herzog, Abbas “reiterated his position that negotiations should be resumed based on the principles of determining permanent borders first.”

“We both agreed that Israel and the PA, as well as other Arab countries, have a common interest in stopping the Islamic State. We agreed that we will meet soon and continue the dialogue between us,” concluded the opposition leader.

Abbas has been planning to resume his unilateral steps to achieve recognition of Palestinian state by the United Nations, in a direct violation of the Oslo Accords.

Aides to Abbas revealed that he will soon appeal to the international community to set a deadline for Israel to withdraw back to the pre-1967 borders and make way for an independent Palestinian state.

In April, the PA requested to join 15 international agencies in breach of the conditions of the peace talks that were going on with Israel at that time.

In response, Israel cancelled the fourth terrorist release "gesture" and subsequently pulled out of the talks altogether, after the PA signed a unity pact with Hamas.

Abbas has also repeatedly threatened to pursue Israel through the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, unless Israel agrees to discuss a Palestinian state along the indefensible pre-1967 borders.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)