Preliminary Palestinian/Israel Meetings Freezing Up Again?
Through efforts arranged by “The Quartet” (an international group), Palestinian and Israeli leaders have now met three times since January 3rd of this year to to present comprehensive border, security proposals. The Palestinian leadership now say there is only one more time to meet and stand on a January 26th deadline. This deadline comes as a surprise to Israel and they question, “It is not logical to think that we could solve all these issues and present proposals 21 days after the talks began,” one Israeli government official said, according to the Jerusalem Post. The Palestinians say January 26 is a deadline imposed by the Quartet on the two sides last September to present comprehensive proposals on border and security issues. Yet, Israel states that the Quartet outlined a plan back in September that stated the deadline would be 90 days after the first meeting, which was January 3rd. Israel agrees to present its proposal after the 90 days, although the Palestinian’s presented their proposal at the first meeting.
Abbas Zaki, a senior Fatah official, announced Sunday the Palestinians would not agree to hold further talks with Israel after January 26 “because the Israeli government is not serious about moving the peace process forward.”
Israel hopes the Palestinians are not looking for an excuse to leave direct negotiations just two weeks after they began, an Israeli government official said Sunday.