Abbas urges Obama to 'impose' deal

Palestinian leader calls on US president to act and rejects idea of temporary state.

    Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected calls for a building freeze in East Jerusalem [EPA]

    "We won't accept a state with temporary borders,'' he said.

    Palestinian officials have said privately that they believe only strong US intervention can break the impasse with Israel. Still, Abbas' blunt public appeal was unusual.

    Temporary state

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    On Friday an Israeli daily reported that Netanyahu floated the idea of a temporary state as a way of breaking the impasse in peace talks.

    Israel's Haaretz newspaper reportedthat Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, was considering an interim agreement that would include the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank within temporary borders as a possible way to unfreeze the stalled talks with the Palestinians.

    Such a proposal was also part of the US-backed so-called "road map'' peace plan as an interim step toward full independence.

    The temporary state would only be established on parts of the territory the Palestinians want for their state.

    However, the road map never got off the ground and the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected provisional statehood, fearing the temporary borders would become the final ones.

    Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, also rejected the notion when asked about it on Friday.

    "So there's a lot of ideas that have been floated around, but at the end of the day it's only the Israelis and Palestinians who can make decisions for themselves,'' she said.

    US proposed talks

    George Mitchell, the US envoy for the Middle East, returned to the region on Friday for a new push to resume peace talks.

    The US has proposed indirect talks in which Mitchell would shuttle between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. However, the Palestinians say they will not engage unless Israel agrees not to build new Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.

    Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected calls for a building freeze in East Jerusalem.

    "Our policy in Jerusalem will not change. It's not just my policy, it's the policy of all my predecessors since 1967," Netanyahu said on Thursday.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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