Palestinians Move To Kickstart Talks With Relaxed Settlement Demands

Mahmoud Abbas United Nations

Photo: United Nations Photo via Flikr

Palestinian officials said yesterday that they would drop their insistence that Israel halt all settlement construction as a precondition for restarting stalled peace talks, so long as Israel agrees to the pre-1967 borders endorsed by President Barack Obama last month, the Associated Press reports.Previously, the Palestinians had demanded a complete freeze to Israeli settlement reconstruction before peace talks could begin.

The statement demonstrates an eagerness to re-start currently stalled talks with the Israeli government, as Palestinians begin to recognise that their two alternatives to negotiations with Israel—reuniting with Hamas and seeking statehood recognition from the U.N. in September—both face obstacles.

Yesterday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told a Lebanese TV station that he would not seek recognition from the U.N. in September if the United States has a better suggestion for moving forward.

The Palestinian ambassador to the U.N. seemed to deny that suggestion, however, telling reporters that the Palestinians would seek statehood recognition even if negotiations with Israel restart before then.

“If we succeed in opening the door for negotiations, we’re not going to stop from attaining what belongs to us as Palestinians,” he said.

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