[QODLink]
Middle East

Palestine warns Israel against talks failure

Palestinian president says Tel Aviv must take on Palestinian economic burden if peace talks fail.

Last updated: 22 Apr 2014 21:57
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Peace talks were revived last July after nearly a three-year hiatus [AFP]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said that Israel must take on Palestinian governance if peace talks with Tel Aviv fail.

Addressing a group of Israeli journalists on Tuesday, Abbas said that Israel's policies had left his West Bank government powerless and that if it continued its path he would "let it come and run this authority."

"If the negotiations stop, it's the Israeli government that will bear the responsibility for the economic situation and the paying of the salaries of (Palestinian) employees, workers and farmers, for health and for education just as it did before the establishment of the Authority," he told the reporters visiting presidential headquarters in Ramallah.

"Also it will bear responsibility for security, meaning Israel will bear full responsibility ... We hope that we won't come to this period but that we come to solutions," he said.

His comments came as US envoy Martin Indyk went into a new meeting with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in a bid to save the US-sponsored talks from collapse.

Abbas said he would agree to an extension of negotiations beyond the April 29 deadline, if Israel frees a group of prisoners as previously earmarked for release and discusses the borders of a future Palestinian state.

"There must be a total freeze of settlements," by Israel in the occupied West Bank including annexed East Jerusalem, Abbas said.

"The borders between Israel and the state of Palestine must also be defined within a month, two or three," if the talks are to be extended, he said.

"Israel cannot accept"

The peace process was engulfed by crisis last month after Israel refused to free a fourth and final group of 26 veteran Arab prisoners which would have completed an agreement that brought the sides back to negotiations last July.

If the negotiations stop, it's the Israeli government that will bear the responsibility for the economic situation ... just as it did before the establishment of the Authority.

- Mahmood Abbas, Palestinian president

An official in the Israeli prime minister's office condemned the statement by Abbas, nicknamed Abu Mazen, saying it showed a lack of Palestinian commitment to the peace process.

"He who wants peace does not time after time present terms which he knows Israel cannot accept," said the source, who declined to be named. "Abu Mazen only wants to receive without giving anything in return."

Fourteen of the prisoners Israel had agreed to free from its jails are Arabs with Israeli citizenship. Abbas said on Tuesday he rejects an Israeli demand to deport them away from their homes to the West Bank or Gaza as a security precaution.

Abbas responded by signing 15 international treaties, including the Geneva Conventions on the conduct of war and occupations.

Tel Aviv condemned the move as a unilateral step towards Palestinian statehood.

Israel has been keen for Palestinian leaders to recognise it as a Jewish state - something Abbas has refused to do - and has been reluctant to commit to the pre-1967 lines as the basis for borders between two states.

521

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.