Abbas Tells Merkel: Palestinians Ready to Return to Negotiations with Israel

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated once more his willingness to renew negotiations with Israel, during a phone call with Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel.

Abbas had already alluded to his willingness to re-engage with Israel in the framework of the so-called peace process, as a way to block Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex nearly 30% of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.

The PA President had phoned Merkel to congratulate her on Germany’s presidency of the European Union, which kicked in on July 1.

In their conversation, Abbas told Merkel that “he is ready to go to negotiations with Israel on the basis of United Nations resolutions and under the auspices of the international Quartet,” the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported on Sunday.

Abbas also “thanked Germany for supporting international law and UN resolutions, especially with regard to the annexation of occupied territories by force.”

Since Netanyahu had announced plans to begin a process of the illegal annexation of parts of the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority worked to rally the international community to prevent the Israeli move.

Netanyahu’s annexation was scheduled for July 1, although Israeli officials since then said that the exact date for the annexation is maybe rescheduled.

Abbas had refused the resumption of negotiations while Israel continued to expand on the illegal Jewish settlements, built in defiance of international law, on occupied Palestinian land.

It is unclear whether Abbas’ announcement regarding his leadership’s willingness to return to direct negotiations with Israel is still conditioned on Jewish settlements freeze.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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