Netanyahu first reaction: Abbas lied to Trump

14 Mai, 2017, 05:55 | Author: Claudine Rigal

In contrast to assertions made by Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. President Donald Trump did discuss the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at their White House meeting, a senior Palestinian official told Haaretz on Thursday. Palestinian and United Nations representatives will also attend the meeting, which coordinates donor funding to the P.A.

The US leader expressed his conviction that a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace was within reach.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately hit back. His meeting with Trump, according to former White House official and peace envoy Dennis Ross, gives him "relevance and a boost" on both the Palestinian front and the regional arena. "This is something we fervently share with the president".

"President Trump raised his concerns about payments to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have committed terrorist acts, and to their families, and emphasised the need to resolve this issue", the White House said.

In a joint news conference with Abbas, Trump suggested that a peaces agreement between the Israel and Palestine would not be "as hard as people have thought", according to NBC.

Successive presidents have declined to do so despite having congressional authorization under the Jerusalem Embassy Act, warning that the move could endanger USA security and potentially upend peace talks between Israel and Palestine.

He added, "It's about time for Israel to end its occupation of our people and our land".

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"Instead, Trump and his team should focus on incremental steps to improve the situation on the ground, preserve the possibility of the two-state solution at another time, and set conditions for negotiations in the future".

A senior USA official said Tuesday that the issue of payments had been raised in preliminary talks with the Palestinians in Washington.

On Tuesday, the Hamas movement, dominant in the Gaza area, released a new policy paper accepting the idea of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.

President Donald Trump is moving forward with his plans to broker the ultimate deal: peace in the Middle East. Israel also opposes Palestinian demands on refugees and stakes its claim on an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.

The senior adviser, however, said that Trump's invitation to Abbas was a good starting point between the Palestinian Authority and the new United States administration and expressed his appreciation for the respectful approach of the president in an attempt to renew the peace process.

Israeli leaders have called the so-called "1967 borders" - the 1949 armistice lines that were in place up until the June 1967 Six Day War - "indefensible".

Netanyahu was referring to the fact that Abbas' Palestinian Authority uses the massive amounts of foreign aid it receives to provide large stipends to Palestinian terrorists arrested by Israel.

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