Abbas rejects Olmert’s concessions (‘We rejected Israeli proposals that stipulated making concessions including on Jerusalem and the refugees. We either get all six points – Jerusalem, settlements, borders, refugees, water and security – or nothing at all.’)

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🙂 PM Salaam Fayad seeks steps against settlements (The Palestinians won’t make any more concessions.) Last updated on Nov 27, 2008
🙂 Marwan Barghouti to ‘Peace Now’: Palestinians ready for peace Last updated on April 9, 2008

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NEED TO WORK ON…

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Obama Secret Declaration to Abbas: I Support Dividing Jerusalem
Arutz Sheva, Israel – Nov 4, 2008
PA Arabs who live in Gaza were reportedly celebrating in the streets with impromptu demonstrations, waving Hamas flags in anticipation of an Obama win, …

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Abbas to tell visiting U.S. envoy: Israel does not want peace Jan 27, 2009 / By Haaretz, Reuters
Last update – 07:46 28/01/2009

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas vowed on Tuesday to take a tough stance in talks with Israel and said he would tell a U.S. envoy that Israel’s Gaza offensive proved it was not intent on peacemaking.
In his first news conference in the Palestinian territories since Israel launched its 22-day offensive on December 27 that killed some 1,300 people in Gaza, Abbas also said he would back international efforts to prosecute Israel for war crimes.
“We will do all we can to prove Israel committed crimes that would make your skin crawl,” Abbas said, referring to the Geneva Conventions. “We want the world to give us justice for once.
“Israel does not want peace, otherwise it would not have done this. We need to understand this and tell it to those coming from Europe and America. Israel wants to waste time to strengthen facts on the ground with settlements and the wall.”

Ten Israeli soldiers and three civilians also died during the offensive which Israel came after years of rocket and mortar fire by militants into southern Israeli towns.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday promised Israeli military personnel state protection, in anticipation of various efforts to prosecute soldiers abroad.
Israel said its aim was to stop rocket fire into Israel from the Gaza Strip, which has been outside Abbas’s control and in the hands of his Islamist rivals Hamas since June 2007.

Hamas survived Israel’s onslaught, accusing its rivals in the Arab world of being “collaborators” who bet on Israel destroying the group. Hamas accuses the U.S.-backed Abbas and his Arab allies of getting nothing in peace talks with Israel.

“We want a state in the 1967 borders, a fair solution to the refugee issue, removal of settlements. There will be no going beyond these points or bargaining,” said Abbas, on the defensive in the Arab world before Hamas’ rhetoric of “resistance”.
The Palestinian Authority wants to establish a state in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, land captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, territory that Israel evacuated in 2005.
U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell arrived in Egypt on Tuesday and is due to meet Abbas in Ramallah on Thursday, after new U.S. President Barack Obama appointed him last week. Abbas said Palestinians are looking to Obama for progress:
“He [Obama] has said good things. We are waiting to see if there is seriousness during this year about the peace process.”

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Abbas: The Palestinians will not sign any agreement with Israel which will not see the emptying of Palestinian prisoners from its jails.
Nov 11, 2008 12:09 | Updated Nov 12, 2008 11:10 / By JPOST.COM STAFF AND KHALED ABU TOAMEH
Abbas challenges Hamas to referendum.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas paid tribute to his predecessor Yasser Arafat at a Ramallah memorial rally on Tuesday, while challenging Hamas to a referendum.
“The Palestinian leadership will continue to lead in the way of Yasser Arafat until a Palestinian state is established with Jerusalem as its capital,” he said at the rally commemorating Arafat’s death.

Abbas added that Fatah had rejected offers made by Israel for concessions which included Palestinian renouncement of parts of Jerusalem and the refugee issue. Furthermore, Abbas maintained that “the Palestinians will not sign any agreement with Israel which will not see the emptying of Palestinian prisoners from its jails.”
“The ways of the shahids [martyrs] Arafat, Abu Jihad [Khalil Ibrahim al-Wazir], George Habash and even Sheikh Ahmed Yassin – are the ways we recognize. These are the ways in which we are meant to preserve the national interests of the Palestinian people,” Abbas told thousands of Fatah supporters who had rallied for the commemoration of the former PA chairman’s death.

“The Palestinian leadership will not let our fate be decided by external forces,” Abbas went on, adding that should Hamas wish to join the ranks of the PLO, it should accept the organization, its institutions and its history and not set conditions.
Abbas also said that Hamas is divisive and unpatriotic. He urged Arab nations to hold Hamas responsible for the latest failure in reconciliation talks. His harsh rhetoric made it unlikely there would be a new attempt soon by Egypt to bring the two sides together.
Challenging the rival group, he said, “If you are so sure of yourselves, let’s go to elections today. And if you do not want elections, let’s conduct a referendum.”

MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL) also spoke at the rally, saying that “all Palestinians miss Arafat and, whereas in the US, a black president was elected, here, racism and fascism continue unabated.”
Tibi said that the struggle must end with the establishment of Arafat’s dream. He appealed to Arafat to “rise from his grave and liberate the Palestinian people.”

Responding to Tibi’s remarks, MK Arye Eldad (NU/NRP) said that he “calls upon the Arab enemies of Israel to join Arafat in his grave. If they don’t like it they should drink the sea at Gaza.”

Meanwhile, Hamas security forces were on high alert due to fears that Fatah would send large crowds into Gaza streets for the commemoration of Arafat’s death.
Fatah strongly condemned Hamas’s ban on the memorial in the Gaza Strip.
The Hamas government decided last Thursday to ban Fatah supporters from marking the anniversary and Hamas’s security forces arrested dozens of Fatah supporters in southern Gaza in the past few days to prevent them from preparing for the celebrations.
Hamas said it would clamp down on rallies not authorized by the group, Israel Radio reported. In the Gaza Strip, Hamas security forces prevented students and youth groups from conducting spontaneous rallies.
Witnesses said that in a few instances, Hamas men used force and tore down Fatah flags and photos of Arafat that were hung in homes. One man who refused to take down the photo was taken for interrogation.
AP contributed to this report.

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Abbas rejects Olmert’s concessions (‘We rejected Israeli proposals that stipulated making concessions including on Jerusalem and the refugees. We either get all six points – Jerusalem, settlements, borders, refugees, water and security – or nothing at all.’) Nov 11, 2008 10:37 | Updated Nov 12, 2008 2:29 / By Jerusalem Post, TOVAH LAZAROFF
Livni, Abbas both reject Olmert’s concessions
Talkbacks for this article 37
3. How many blind people are there in Israel? – Virtually every right wing uncomprimising Israeli who takes control of the primeminister’s chair realises that their previous dream of holding on to the West Bank (Judea and Sumaria) and East Jerusalem is nothing just a dangerous dillusion that could result in the destruction of all of Israel. How many leaders do you need to elect to sit in that chair and change their mind and then get voted out by another hawk who changes his mind etc before you realise that maybe its the Primeminister and not you who is seeing things clearly? Sharon, Olmert, Rabin, etc / Sebastian – England (11/11/2008 11:43)
15. I’m very much a pacifist, and I want peace for Israel, but – we need to think twice before giving up land so many young Israelis died for. I have never heard of any country that won a war giving back territory it won, not unless they lost the war. Of course, Israel needs solid national borders, but they have to be logical and defensible. / Donna – Israel (11/11/2008 15:35)
22. to#15 Donna: Rabin had a mission, perhaps Olmert has a vision (at last) – Young Israeli soldiers didn’t sacrify their lives for new territories & surly not for setteling them. They died for the sheer survival of their country. This truth must be repeatedly said! The 1967-War left little Israel with XXL territories & populations it couldn’t grasp neither demographically nor politically. Tiny-Israel isn’t a super power which could annex fearlessly foreign lands like North Mexico (USA), Ireland (GB) or Eastern Europe (USSR) so the comparison, Donna, doesn’t make sense. Lets face it from a certain distance & be more realistic, less self-victimizing, more visionary…! / ruben siedner – germany (11/11/2008 19:09)
25. to # 22-You don’t get it! – Abbas and the Fatah PA are merely using the “peace process” as a tactic to destroy Israel. The establishment of a Palestinian state is the first stage of the PLO “Phased Plan.” The official PA representative to Lebanon, Abbas Zaki, said just last April “we move according to phases, we have not changed our strategy one iota.” He further stated that the final stage after a Palestinian state is established, will be to drive the Jews out of all the land of Israel. Furthermore it was the Muslims who invaded and “occupied” the broader Middle East and North Africa in the 7th century. / john – USA (11/11/2008 21:27)
17. Armistice lines, not borders – Israel never had defined borders, just armistice lines. In 1949 the border lines of the Jewish state were armistice lines. The Arabs never recognized those armistice lines. Hence, Israel is under no obligation to return to borders that were never recognized by the Arabs. / Jonathan E. Grant – USA (11/11/2008 17:03)
36. why ’48 borders? why not U.N. proposed borders or U.K. proposed ’37 borders? – Neither the U.K. proposed borders of ’37 nor the U.N. proposed borders of’48 were ever accepted by the Arabs. The Israelis accepted them but the Arabs chose war. As a result, the ’48 borders are much larger and are viewed as the minimum even by the Peace Now camp. The reality is that the ’48 borders have no more legal status then the ’67 borders and the ’67 borders have been in place more than twice as long. The Arabs will never be happy with either. To start negotiations by surrendering on this most important issue while Abbas is still demanding all 6 points publicly is insane. / David Samuel – Canada (11/12/2008 06:06)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert struggled behind closed doors to assert his authority on Tuesday after his diplomatic platform was rejected by both his successor as Kadima leader and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
At a rally in Ramallah, Abbas rejected Israeli concessions on Jerusalem and refugees, just one day after Olmert publicly stated he would come close to returning Israel to the pre-1967 borders in a final-status agreement.
Abbas’s words dealt yet another blow to Olmert, who was slammed for his views by Kadima politicians – including new party leader Tzipi Livni, who laid bare the chasm between them on the issue in an interview with Army Radio.
Although Attorney-General Menaham Mazuz has ruled that Olmert has the legal authority to continue negotiations with the Palestinians as head of a lame duck government, and Olmert still insists in private conversations that it is he and he alone who leads the Palestinian negotiations, Livni declared Olmert had become irrelevant to those talks.
Defiantly, an Olmert source told The Jerusalem Post that it was the prime minister’s negotiations with the Palestinians that mattered, not Livni’s. Neither the source not the Prime Minister’s Office addressed the issue of Abbas’s statements.

“We rejected Israeli proposals that stipulated making concessions, including on Jerusalem and the refugees,” Abbas said in Ramallah, according to DPA.
“We either get all six points – Jerusalem, settlements, borders, refugees, water and security – or nothing at all,” he said.

A Livni spokesman was quick to say Abbas’s statements were evidence of Livni’s prominence over Olmert. Abbas, the spokesman said, was referring to an offer made by Olmert, and not to the series of talks between the foreign minister and former PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei.
Fresh from Sunday’s show of international support at Sharm e-Sheikh for the bilateral talks she has led with the Palestinians, Livni attacked Olmert on Army Radio for his speech at the official ceremony for Yitzhak Rabin on Monday.
“As the head of the Kadima party, I am obligated not to the parting words of Olmert, but to Kadima’s platform, which I wrote and in which I believe,” Livni said.
It was that platform alone, she said, “which determines the principles by which I negotiate.”
Livni said Olmert’s speech reflected neither her views nor those of the Kadima party.
Army Radio quizzed her as to whether she would tell the Palestinians and or the Americans that Olmert’s statement was irrelevant.
“There are things that you do not have to say. I am leading the negotiations,” Livni said.

However, a source close to Olmert told the Post that the prime minister would decide how the negotiations would progress until he left office after the national elections in February and the formation of a new government.
At Sunday’s meeting of Kadima ministers, the source said, Olmert made a point of saying that in the United States, President-elect Barack Obama had said that until he took office on January 20, outgoing President George W. Bush was still in charge.
Olmert, according to the source, said Livni should extend the same courtesy to him.

On Monday, the prime minister made waves in his party when he went well beyond its platform by saying: “We must relinquish Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem, and return to that territory which comprised the State of Israel until 1967, with the necessary adjustments stemming from the realities created on the ground.”
It was one of the more succinct public summations of Olmert’s stance to date. And it was condemned by politicians from the Right and from within Kadima.

“It was a very great error,” said MK Marina Solodkin (Kadima). “It was silly and very dangerous.”
Although within Israel, Olmert no longer carries the political weight of a prime minister, Solodkin said, in the eyes of the international community and the Palestinians he remains the country’s leader. As such, when he spoke, the outside world believed he still represents Israel.
What scares Solodkin, she said, is that despite the party’s rejection of his statement, Olmert still has the legal authority to negotiate along those lines, even if doing so “betrays” the party’s platform.
Kadima was created to represent the center-Right and not the Left, Solodkin said. She did not support concessions on Jerusalem, and neither did the party’s platform, she added.

On the other hand, as Education Minister and Peace Now co-founder Yuli Tamir (Labor) sat at Mount Herzl Cemetery on Monday and listened to Olmert, one word crossed her mind: “Finally.”
Despite all the denials from Kadima politicians, Tamir said she was certain Olmert’s words represented their views.
“I am sure that when Tzipi Livni sits with Abu Ala [Ahmed Qurei],” there are not that many options, Tamir said. The most likely scenario is that the Etzion Bloc, the Ariel Bloc and the Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem will be included within Israel’s final borders, in exchange for territory from within the Green Line, she said.
But even as she felt a sense of relief at Olmert’s words, Tamir also was frustrated that he had made his position public only months before left office. It happened that way with former prime minister Ariel Sharon as well, she said.
“Everyone who finishes a term [as prime minister] realizes that this is the only point of view,” Tamir said.

Given the assumption that Binyamin Netanyahu would become the next prime minister, after the Rabin memorial ceremony, Tamir told the Likud leader, “You are the only one who we have to convince, because all the rest are on our side.”
Netanyahu has said he plans to talk with the Palestinians, but not according to the principles set by Livni.

In her radio interview, Livni said that in the end it was the February 10 elections that would determine Israel’s negotiating stance with the Palestinians. The voters would decide whether she or Netanyahu would replace Olmert as prime minister, Livni said.
“The rest of what will be said in the next few months will be less relevant,” she said.
However, Livni said, the final-status agreement would require territorial concessions by Israel. But these would be done in a way that preserves the Jewish state’s security, takes account of places of historical significance such as Jerusalem, and allows the maximum number of settlers to remain in their homes, Livni said. As for Palestinian refugees, they would not be allowed to come to Israel.
To reach a final-status agreement, she said, “there are things that we have to accept. There are things that if we do not accept, there won’t be an agreement. That is part of the negotiations,” she said.
Just on Sunday, Livni continued, her role as the public face for these talks was affirmed by the international community, at the Quartet meeting at Sharm e-Sheikh.

In that gathering, the Quartet agreed with her request to continue the bilateral nature of the negotiations with the Palestinians, in which neither side would be pressured to give up its interests, she said. It also agreed that no other initiative would be introduced.
These talks must address all core issues to conclude the final-status agreement, Livni said. “Until everything is done, nothing is done.”
The Quartet’s statement of support for those talks based on her principles, Livni said, showed “you can negotiate together with the Palestinians and with the world’s approval, without getting to the points that Olmert said yesterday.”
Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

Abbas rejects Olmert’s concessions (‘We rejected Israeli proposals that stipulated making concessions including on Jerusalem and the refugees. We either get all six points – Jerusalem, settlements, borders, refugees, water and security – or nothing at all.’) Last update – 03:07 12/11/2008 / By Haaretz, DPA
Abbas says Israel has proposed Jerusalem concessions in the past

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday that during peace talks over the past year, Israel had proposed concessions to him regarding Jerusalem, but he rejected them because they were partial.
Abbas told tens of thousands of Palestinians who gathered at his Ramallah headquarters to mark four years since the death of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat that he wants a full peace deal and will accept no partial one.
“We rejected Israeli proposals that stipulated making concessions including on Jerusalem and the refugees,” he said.
“We either get all six points – Jerusalem, settlements, borders, refugees, water and security – or nothing at all,” Abbas said.

The Palestinian leader added that he had made his position clear during a meeting Sunday with the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators – the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia – in Egypt.

Israel has consistently insisted in recent months that the sides had not yet touched on the issue of Jerusalem, although it had agreed “in principle” to include it in the negotiations. Outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert had promised ultra-Orthodox coalition partners in the past that negotiations on Jerusalem would be left for last.
Abbas has rejected his offer for a peace deal that would sideline the highly sensitive issue and leave it for later, arguing that partial peace agreements have thus far not yielded any progress toward statehood for the Palestinians.

Abbas strongly attacked the Islamic movement Hamas, at one point calling them “traitors.”
Abbas also accused Hamas, the bitter rival of his and Arafat’s more secular Fatah movement, of having undermined efforts to achieve “national reconciliation” by refusing to attend Egyptian-hosted talks which had been scheduled to start in Cairo on Monday, but were canceled when Hamas announced a last minute boycott of the talks.
He said he was ready to hold presidential and legislative elections immediately, calling on Hamas to accept this proposal.
Abbas charged Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, used force to prevent Gazans from marking the anniversary of Arafat’s death.

Pro-Fatah Palestinian media also said Hamas forces, both in civilian clothes and military uniforms, had deployed across Gaza to prevent any gathering of Fatah supporters trying to commemorate Arafat’s death. They said they also entered schools and “beat up” a number of pupils who wore Arafat’s trademark kaffiyeh.
Tens of thousands of Fatah supporters flocked to the Ramallah compound, which contains Arafat’s mausoleum and tomb, since the early hours of Tuesday, carrying yellow Fatah flags and portraits of their late leader.
Arafat died at a hospital in France in November 2004 at the age of 75 of a stroke triggered by a blood-clotting disorder brought on by food poisoning.
Although his French hospital record published by The New York Times said no traces of commonly used poisons were found in his system and his liver and kidneys were not damaged as is common after poisoning, Arafat’s nephew insisted on Tuesday that Israel was behind the late Palestinian leader’s death, and that the type of poison and method used by Israel would soon be revealed.

PA negotiator Qurei praises Livni Oct 27, 2008 / By Jerusalem Post, HAVIV RETTIG
Top Palestinian negotiator, Ahmed Qurei, rejected on Monday any possibility for peace without negotiation over Jerusalem in a speech to the Council for Peace and Security, a left-leaning group of former Israeli security officials.
He made the statement in response to Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu’s promise in the Knesset plenum Monday morning that the Likud would not negotiate on sharing Jerusalem. Shas, too, had conditioned its willingness to join a coalition led by Kadima chair Tzipi Livni on keeping Jerusalem “off the table.”
Qurei, known popularly as Abu Ala, praised Livni for rejecting the Shas demands.
“There can be no peace without Jerusalem,” he said. “How can the Palestinians agree to such a peace? If you want peace, you have to put Jerusalem on the table.”
Livni “didn’t say she would give up Jerusalem, but she will leave it on the table,” Qurei continued. “She’s strong and trustworthy enough to say, ‘this we can give you and this we can’t.'”
Asked by an attendee if the peace process would continue in the event of a Likud victory, Qurei said that despite the election rhetoric a Likud government was likely to negotiate over Jerusalem. “Sometimes in opposition you say something and then in government you do something else,” he said.
On the Annapolis process itself, Qurei said an agreement was unlikely to be reached this year. “The political situation on both sides is difficult. Israel is on the eve of elections
and the Palestinians have an internal problem which we hope will be resolved soon with Egyptian help.”

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