Refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Abbas said the French initiative must be based on Israel’s 1967 border, and without an IDF presence.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo on Saturday called for NATO forces to replace the IDF in the West Bank, as part of as part of any peace deal that leads to the creation of a two-state solution.
He also rejected the idea of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, when speaking before the Arab League.
Recognition of Israel as the Jewish home land as well as acceptance of a demilitarized Palestinians state, with the IDF maintaining a military presence in the West Bank, has been two of the cornerstone Israeli demands for any resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Abbas spoke in advance of the June 3 ministerial meeting in Paris, to launch a new French led peace initiative, which would set the parameters for renewed negotiating process.
Neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians have been invited to the Paris meeting. Israel has opposed the initiative which it believes dictates the results of the negotiations.
The Palestinians have welcomed the French initiative which aims to set a blue-print for such talks.
Abbas said negotiations should be based on the understanding of a two-station solution on the pre-1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital.
“Now we talk about the French initiative. … It’s purpose must be to implement the visions of both states, based on the border agreement of 1967 and the capital of the Palestinian state being eastern Jerusalem, so that both countries can live side by side, in safety, stability and peace – if Israel wishes to seek peace.” There could be, he clarified, some minor land swaps of equitable value.
A time-line would be set for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and east Jerusalem, Abbas said.
He added that there should be a fair and agreed-upon solution for Palestinian refugees based on the 1948 United Nations resolution 194.
“We also take under consideration, an issue that came in this initiative that’s very important, related to Palestinian refugees – there’s a crystal clear article stipulating a fair and agreed upon resolution, I repeat fair and agreed upon, for the problem of Palestinian refugees, in accordance with decision 194.”
Last week, Netanyahu had urged the French to amend their initiative and to use Paris as a platform for the immediate renewal of talks without preconditions. He called on them to host him and Abbas, rather than to hold a ministerial meeting. The Palestinians have rejected that idea believing that talks without a framework of borders and a timetable is meaningless.
Separately, the website Middle East Eye reported that there was a secret plan in the world to replaced Abbas with his archival Mohammed Dahlan.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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