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Is Abbas Ready To Drop Settlement Freeze Demand For Peace Talks?

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is willing to suspend his demand that Israel freeze West Bank settlement construction as a condition for restarting peace talks, a top adviser said.

Abbas also is willing to mute his campaign to prosecute Israeli officials for war crimes and to single Israel out for condemnation at the United Nations, Mohammad Mustafa, a senior economic adviser to Abbas and a former PA deputy prime minister, told Bloomberg on Wednesday.

He said that the Palestinian leadership agrees that “it’s better for all of us right now to focus on giving this new administration a chance to deliver” than to dig in on the settlement freeze.

Mustafa, 62, chairman of the Palestine Investment Fund, told Bloomberg that high levels of unemployment and international donors’ failure to provide promised aid are among the reasons Abbas is willing to sit at the negotiating table.

Trump has stated that he would like to broker the “ultimate deal,” a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians with the approval of the rest of the Arab world.

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