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Officials: Fayyad backs out of meeting with Netanyahu
Published Tuesday 17/04/2012 (updated) 18/04/2012 16:52
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Prime Minister Salam Fayyad speaks next to Israel's President Shimon Peres
during the World Economic Forum (Reuters/Christian Hartmann, File)

RAMALLAH (Reuters) -- A planned meeting Tuesday between the Israeli and Palestinian Authority prime ministers may be canceled or postponed after Salam Fayyad refused to attend, senior Palestinian officials said.

Fayyad was reluctant to be seen as engaging with Israel on a day when more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners began a hunger strike to protest against their conditions in Israeli jails, the officials said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office had released no details of a time or venue for what were to have been the highest-level talks with the Palestinians since peace negotiations broke off in 2010.

But Israeli officials, asking for anonymity because no official announcement on the talks had been made, had said Monday that the meeting was to be held on Tuesday.

Palestinian officials said Fayyad was to have delivered a letter to Netanyahu from President Mahmoud Abbas detailing grievances on the stalled peace talks and reiterating a call to halt settlement building.

Instead, the letter may be handed to a senior Netanyahu aide by PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat later Tuesday or Fayyad might meet the Israeli leader on a less politically charged date, the officials said.

Earlier, an Israeli official said Netanyahu would reiterate his call for talks to resume without any preconditions and for a meeting with Abbas.


The possible last-minute cancellation may cast new light on divisions within the Palestinian political establishment, which has struggled to craft a winning strategy to achieve statehood.

The letter could serve as a prelude to a renewed unilateral Palestinian move for statehood recognition in the United Nations, an effort suspended last autumn amid stiff opposition from Washington and Israel.

Palestinians said the letter would accuse Israel of failing to carry out its obligations under a 2003 "road map" agreed by both sides, which include a halt to settlement activity.

Foreign governments have viewed the letter with apprehension, welcoming a rare high-level Israeli-Palestinian meeting, and warning against any threatening language.

US-sponsored peace talks froze in late 2010 after Netanyahu rejected Palestinian demands that he extend a partial construction freeze he had imposed at Washington's behest to coax them into talks.

Netanyahu says the future of settlements, which the Palestinians and many countries regard as illegal, should be decided in peace negotiations.

Palestinian officials said the letter is a watered-down version of previous drafts which suggested the Palestinian Authority, run by Abbas, would dissolve itself or sever ties with Israel if there was no progress.

Nonetheless, the Palestinians may take their case to the UN General Assembly after failing to secure backing at the Security Council in 2011, and even though only the Security Council - where the United States has veto power - has the authority to grant full UN membership.
1 ) Julie / USA
17/04/2012 18:06
to neuteredyahoo: "the future of settlements" has already been decided BY INTERNATIONAL LAW. deal with it !!! and get your brutal criminal zionazi ILLEGAL squatters OFF Pal lands !!!

2 ) Right on Fayyad / Uk
17/04/2012 18:15
No wise man set with war criminals.

3 ) dte / amman
17/04/2012 18:21
wise move by shalom fayed

4 ) dit / .....
17/04/2012 18:22
are there no palestinians who write articles for ma'an.???

5 ) Anonymous / planet earth
17/04/2012 18:52
Why would the majority of Maan readers get involved sending a comment when after it's approved,they don't have a clue in hell when it will appear on the forum,if at all.

6 ) Tobias / USA
17/04/2012 19:12
I the PA scheduled negotiations, and then cancelled,
now that would actually be news-worthy, but
Israel neither asked for the PA's letter, nor wants it now !!!

7 ) West Banker / Palestine
17/04/2012 20:06
Don't worry, Fayyad was only scared that he was being TOO rude if he would've met with Zionists on this particular day, just wait til tomorrow.

8 ) EE / UK
17/04/2012 20:33
Did he forget the letter at home? Did that letter ever exist? May be dog ate the letter together with homework? A lot of questions and very few answers.

9 ) Wissam / Palestine
17/04/2012 21:07
A wise move not to meet any Zionist hostile.

10 ) Malone / Hfx
17/04/2012 22:17
#1 Julie...keep it up,girl...your posts are too funny..I can picture you at your computer frothing at the mouth with hate,lol

11 ) r cummings / uk
17/04/2012 22:41
6) - 'Israel neither asked for the PA's letter, nor wants it now!' - You always have an Israel-first-ra-ra comment to make, but they rarely add anything to the debate. You are obviously not aware that setting out a position in writing is a normal modus operandii in the diplomatic world. Particularly when dealing with state leaders who have proved wholly untrustworthy and who use hasbara to twist the truth at every turn, as Netanyahu. It is a very wise method to use in all dealings with Israel.

12 ) ashaf rafah / rafah
17/04/2012 22:52
this meeting not the 1st nor the last but no result just a makeup for israel bad face with pal stamp so sorry

13 ) mohamed / somalia
18/04/2012 00:00
no need for talks since israel refuse palestinian state, ending settlements, ending annexation east jerusalem, ending blockade. netanyahoo is not ready yet palestinian state with east jerusalem. the answer is recognize us jewish state and you you will get provisional state with temporary borders.

14 ) southparkbear / usa
18/04/2012 06:37
mo #13 we have no objection that you and wissama live in clan shootout harmony in somali. But Wissama also should hurry to secure a citizenship in his homeland jordan. you know they are taking it away now. shid hallak wissama

15 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
18/04/2012 09:18
No, Mohamed in Somalia, the answer is that if the Palestinians agree to recognize Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people, and agree to settle the refugees in Palestine, then there can be peace. Every single poll shows that 70% or more of Israelis support 2-states, but that an agreement means the absolute end of the conflict and the end of claims by Palestinians. So far, the Palestinians keep showing that they will not and can not negotiate. We are ready. They are not.

16 ) Tibi / Tubas
18/04/2012 18:06
Israel is NOT interested in talks on the PA's terms, and
the PA is NOT interested in talks on the Israel's terms, so
- The One-State (Israel) and
- The NO-State (Gaza & Areas A/B)
situation will continue forever, or until one side becomes interested
in the other's terms for talks and peace, or likely never !!!!

17 ) Hilmi / Malaysia
18/04/2012 18:18
@15.. Your statement is Racist.. Pals approve Israel as a Jewish state ? Israel discriminated other race .. facts.. you will never be a state until you never recognize other races and be fair in one another.. and stop Jewishing the pals in region in Israel.. they still Arab.. not Israeli.. or Yahuda races.. stop being Hippocratic.. be fair.. and it will peace.. You self-fishy ... Pals ready.. NO... The whole World ready with Them and support from behind Judaism, Christian, and Islam community.

18 ) Truth / USA
19/04/2012 15:35
"PALESTINIANs deserve a State, but need" to accept compromises, like:
- their state can NOT be on top of Israel (with refugees return), and
- their state can NOT be a threat to Israel (with 1967 borders), or
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