With the upcoming French peace summit just days away, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is pushing for fixed deadlines for a final status arrangement and establishment of a Palestinian state, including the convening of a special monitoring committee to enforce such “time caps”.
Speaking at a gathering of Arab leaders in Cairo on Saturday, Abbas laid out PA demands for this week’s summit, including timetables for the creation of a Palestinian state – and the division of Jerusalem.
According to Abbas, the borders of the new state must follow the 1949 Armistice lines – including in eastern Jerusalem – with only slight alterations.
“When we need to demarcate these borders, will be prepared to accept a slight exchange of territory,” Abbas said.
Abbas doubled down on his past refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland, saying that the PLO’s 1993 recognition of Israel’s existence was sufficient.
The PA leader also demanded that all Arab prisoners held by Israel be freed as part of a final status arrangement.
While Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has rebuffed calls for Israel to participate in the peace summit, saying that only direct negotiations can solve the conflict, Abbas hopes to apply international pressure on Israel to abide by decisions reached at the meeting.