Abbas Accuses Bibi of Undermining Government
Haaretz has obtained a copy of a letter that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas intends to send to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after Passover, in which he accuses Netanyahu of undermining the Palestinian Authority.
According to both Israeli and Palestinian sources, an envoy headed by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will deliver the letter, which places responsibility for the freeze in negotiations on Israel, during a meeting with Netanyahu over the Passover holiday.
“We entered a contractual agreement with international backing in order to bring the Palestinian people from occupation to independence,” Abbas wrote in the letter. “Currently, and as a result of the policy of consecutive Israeli governments, the Palestinian Authority has no real control over political, economic, geographic or security-related issues.”
Abbas further places forth four demands before Netanyahu – the acceptance of the two-state solution based on 1967 borders with land swaps, a settlement freeze in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the release of Palestinian prisoners, including those who were arrested before the signing of the 1994 Oslo Accords and a return to the situation on the ground in the West Bank prior to September 2000. The final demand relates specifically to respecting the status of Area A in the West Bank, where the PA has full authority of civil and security-related matters.
“We presented our general stance on the issues of borders and security, and emphasized that we respect all the commitments demanded of us,” wrote Abbas in the letter. “We demanded of your government to present general stances surrounding territory and security, stopping settlement building and freeing prisoners. These are not conditions – they are commitments. To our dismay, none of these commitments were carried out.”
The letter was meant to include a threat to dismantle the PA, although that paragraph was later taken out due to heavy U.S. pressure.
For more, go to Haaretz.com