BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Facebook was overwhelmed Thursday with criticism from Palestinian youth after news of an expected meeting between President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Vice Premier Shaul Mofaz.
The leaders will meet Sunday in Ramallah but the talks are not expected to include negotiations, PLO official Saeb Erekat said.
Comments by Palestinians on social media seemed to indicate widespread opposition to to the meeting, especially that it is scheduled to take place in Ramallah.
“Mofaz is (late Palestinian leader Yasser) Arafat’s killer and he should be put on trial” and “detain the child killer” were among the comments on Facebook.
A group of activists announced on Facebook that they had filed a lawsuit and would present it to the Palestinian judiciary to demand the detention of Mofaz as a war criminal upon his arrival.
Demonstrations and other public events are being planned by activists opposed to the talks.
Speaking to Voice of Palestine radio on Thursday, Erekat said the meeting was arranged at Mofaz's request, but negotiations were the responsibility of Israel's prime minister and negotiating teams.
"We do not want to raise expectations or lower them. This is not a negotiation meeting," Erekat said.
A Facebook page protesting Mofaz' visit to Ramallah
A spokesman for Mofaz would not confirm or deny that a meeting had been arranged, but he did say there was ongoing contact with Abbas' office toward setting up such an event.
Mofaz told reporters this month that he intended to meet Abbas "to examine ways to restart peace negotiations with the Palestinians".
Mofaz, head of Israel's centrist Kadima party, joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition in May to form one of the biggest coalitions in Israeli history, a move that commentators said could give Netanyahu a freer hand to seek peace with the Palestinians.
Negotiations between Israel and the PLO broke down in late 2010 after Netanyahu refused to extend a partial freeze on illegal settlement building on occupied Palestinian land.
The PLO has demanded a halt to the construction before talks resume, but Israel says the settlements issue should be resolved in negotiations.Reuters contributed to this report.