Palestinians deliver letter of grievances to Netanyahu
A peace talks letter was hand delivered to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, addressing its firm stance on basing a two-state solution on the 1967 borders and demanded Israel to discontinue settlements from being built in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
With talks between Israel and Palestine essentially being frozen, the letter has shed new light on a brighter future, with both sides hoping to make advancements toward peace. Netanyahu promised to respond with a written reply in two weeks, Reuters reported.
However, the Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad, refused to lead the delegation in presenting the letter. With his participation, it would have welcomed the highest-level meeting since 2010. According to Reuters, his absence may be magnifying the divisions within the the Palestinian establishment, which has failed to gain international recognition of statehood at the United Nation.
Foreign governments were hesitant to view the letter, fearing the misuse of language could stir more hostility. Palestinians were urged to ignore language that could be viewed as threatening.
In addition to asking for the halt of settlement building and the 1967 lines to be the basis for a peace deal, it stated all Palestinian prisoners must be released, The New York Times reported. It also expressed regret that Israel does not support reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
According to Palestinian officials, the letter was seen as a watered-down version of drafts made prior to this letter, stating no progress in finding a solution would deeply impair ties with Israel.