PA willing to renew peace talks with Israel

PA counter-proposal to Trump’s plan says it is prepared to agree to "minor" territorial concessions.

Elad Benari ,

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) counter-proposal to US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” says it is prepared to renew long-stalled peace talks with Israel and to agree to "minor" territorial concessions, AFP reported on Monday.

A PA text sent to the international peacemaking Quartet and seen Monday by AFP says the Palestinians are "ready to resume direct bilateral negotiations where they stopped" in 2014.

PA cabinet leader Mohammad Shtayyeh said on June 9 that the PA had drafted a response to the US proposal but did not previously mention direct talks with the Israelis.

The Quartet is made up of the US, the UN, the EU. and Russia. It has been on the sidelines in recent years, allowing the US to spearhead efforts to broker an Israel-PA deal.

Those efforts failed in 2014 when the PA unilaterally applied to join international organizations in breach of the conditions of the talks.

Reports on the PA’s counter-proposal to the Trump plan come ahead of Wednesday, the day on which Israel can apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria in accordance with the coalition agreement between the Likud and Blue and White.

On Monday, Blue and White chairman and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz suggested that sovereignty might not be applied soon after July 1.

During a meeting with US envoy Avi Berkowitz and US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, Gantz said that July 1 is not "sacred" or set in stone for the application of sovereignty.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu later told Likud lawmakers that the negotiations with the US over the application of Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria were "not dependent" on the Blue and White party.

"We are in contact with the American team which is here in Israel," Netanyahu said at the weekly Likud faction meeting, adding that the negotiations with the US were being carried out "discreetly."

“The issue doesn’t depend on Blue and White. They’re not a factor one way or the other,” the Prime Minister added.