The Palestinians played down on Monday the significance of an imminent meeting in Washington...saying formal negotiation would not begin unless their opening terms were satisfied.Oh, and this, too:
The Palestinian position seemed to run counter to U.S. hopes that bringing together Saeb Erekat and Israel's Tzipi Livni in the coming days...Kerry, winding up months of intensive and discreet mediation, predicted Erekat and Livni would join him in Washington "to begin initial talks within the next week or so".
But that appeared unlikely..."It looks like negotiations will begin only next week, not this week," an Israeli official said late on Sunday, disclosing Netanyahu's plans to win over recalcitrant ministers.
Netanyahu says the new talks must be held without "preconditions", especially regarding the borders of the state Palestinians want to found in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war...Yet the Palestinians insist no negotiations can be held until all sides agree the pre-1967 borders would be their basis.
Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdaineh said Erekat had yet to be invited to Washington. When he goes, Abu Rdaineh said, it would be first to determine the framework of any future negotiations.
"If they reach an agreement over the details, in accordance to the Palestinian demands, then the launch of negotiations will be announced," Abu Rdaineh told Reuters on Monday.
He said that those demands, relayed by Abbas to Kerry, included Israel's recognition that the two-state solution was predicated on the 1967 borders, and clarifications about its planned release of Palestinian prisoners in a goodwill gesture.
PMW BulletinJuly 22, 2013PA minister: PA agreements are modeled after Muhammad's Hudaybiyyah Peace Treaty
Muhammad signed a 10-year truce at Hudaybiyyah with the tribes of Mecca, but two years later he attacked and conquered them
PA Minister of Religious Affairs Al-Habbash, in the presence of Mahmoud Abbas, compared PA agreements with Israel to Muhammad's pact that led not to peace but to defeat of the peace partners:
"This is the example and this is the model"
On the eve of the renewed peace talks with Israel, PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash said in his Friday sermon that when PA leaders signed agreements with Israel, they knew how to walk "the right path, which leads to achievement, exactly like the Prophet [Muhammad] did in the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah." Al-Habbash's sermon was delivered in the presence of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and was broadcast on official Palestinian Authority TV.