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Report: Abbas willing to accept secret settlement freeze
Published Thursday 21/03/2013 (updated) 24/03/2013 09:43
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RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas is willing to accept an unannounced settlement freeze in order to renew peace talks with Israel, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Citing the talking points of an internal PLO document ahead of Abbas' meeting with US President Barack Obama on Thursday, the report quoted Abbas as saying he wished to return to peace talks but only on the condition that Israel froze settlements, publicly or not.

“He can pledge to you secretly that he will stop settlement activities during the period of negotiations,” one line of the document said, apparently referring to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. “(He does not have to announce it.)”

The Times said it obtained an electronic copy of the document, whose author was listed as an aide to PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat in the negotiations affairs department.

Other items in the document urge Obama to encourage Netanyahu to say he is willing to accept a two-state solution on the 1967 borders: "He never said it ... I hope one day he will put his Map on the table as I did.”

Another talking point is a warning that Abbas is prepared to begin scaling back the Palestinian Authority's control of certain areas in the event Israel's occupation fails to come to an end.

“I am not threatening, I am sharing a fact with you,” Abbas was expected to say. “If this situation continues I will be forced to ask Prime Minister (Netanyahu) to resume his responsibilities.”
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1 ) Bemused / New Zealand
21/03/2013 11:34
So finally Abbas is getting tired of being Israel's policeman...but only in some areas. A bit like demanding a settlement freeze, but not the removal of existing settlements....Ever heard the expression "Too little, too late" Abbas?

2 ) dan / holland
21/03/2013 11:39
what a joke ! how can you keep it a secret ? are the jews blind,or does anyone think they wil not notice that no more is built.

3 ) Rami / Palestine
21/03/2013 11:41
How secretive can it be if it's published in Ma'an and The New York Times?

4 ) No Answer / Question
21/03/2013 13:58
What does it mean - secret freeze? Is it like construction is frozen, but noone notices it because homes are being built? Is it like being a little pregnant?

5 ) Fry / Freeze
21/03/2013 14:02
“Abbas said the 'Settlement is frozen'. So, they need to defrost it and fry till perfection. Add salt and pepper as needed. Consume when it is ready. Do not forget to use stool softener.

6 ) Greg / UKR
21/03/2013 14:04
What a terrible liar - Israel is ready to negotiate tomorrow without preconditions. It is palestinians who are afraid of negotiations and inventing different reasons not to negotiate. And again - how in the world being an observer state in UN can help palestinians: just the opposite - they are losing financial aid from US, Israeli collected taxes and fees, aid coming from US via UNRWA and USA will move its embassy to Jerusalem recognizing it as a sole Israel capital. They will lose a lot again.

7 ) Piece / War
21/03/2013 14:05
It is not unusual for the dogs to bite feeding hands. Just think about how much money palestinians got from US during last 60 years. They are used to that money and forget where it is coming from.

8 ) Money / More
21/03/2013 14:06
Abbas has got enough, his bank accounts cannot hold any more money, Swiss bankers refused to accept any more shekels - this is a main reason why he quits. So, US and EU can stop financial aid to palestinians now.

9 ) Ask / Again
21/03/2013 14:07
Abbas - please, quit. Please, read people's mind and quit. You have got enough - yours and your sons numerous bank accounts in Switzerland and Dubai are full of money, you and your sons have multiple villas and houses around Middle East, you damaged peace process enough, you ruined PA - it is time to quit. Long time overdue. Go somewhere and re-read your PhD dissertation about holocaust denying. May be write some memoirs – Ereqat, Ashrawi and Lieberman will read it.

10 ) LOL @ 3 Rami / Joseph / Palestine
21/03/2013 14:12
Right on brother!

11 ) LOL OBAMA SAID NO PRE / CONDITIONS
21/03/2013 14:36
THAT MEANS NO FREEZE , NO BS go to table or STAY ISOLATED!! THAT IS WHAT OBAMA SAID!

12 ) Mel / USA
21/03/2013 19:40
ARAB/MUSLIM/CHRISTIAN peoples,POWERFUL,wealthy,Israel EQUALLY have the human right,too,to DEFEND THEMSELVES,& be "secure" from ATTACKS by Zionism/Israel,since PRE-1948!An existential,VASTLY bigger, ACTUALITY,daily! ORWELLIAN OBAMA! "OBAMA THIS DESTRUCTION".Obama is visiting'pretty'compliant sites,where PA leaders hide their Zionist shackles under silk suits &ironed on smiles!Obama! GO to the blood-stained ground to see how'good' our 'US-WEPS-Inc' business is!Pro-Israeli Zionism is an

13 ) Colin Wright / USA
22/03/2013 00:02
Academic, anyway. Israel is never going to freeze settlements. This is good tactics: Abbas 'agrees' to something that he's sure Israel won't agree to -- or will promptly and visibly ignore even if they pretend to. He's been reading the 'how to' guide Israel wrote herself.

14 ) Colin Wright / USA
22/03/2013 00:05
To #11: 'THAT MEANS NO FREEZE , NO BS go to table or STAY ISOLATED!! THAT IS WHAT OBAMA SAID!' I don't know whether to laugh or to spew. You and I both know perfectly well you'd be all for ignoring Obama completely if it suited you. So now he says something you find congenial and it's 'Obama said.' What if Obama says 'Israel accepted the 1947 partition borders and should withdraw to them'? Is it still going to be 'Obama says.' I think not.

15 ) Colin Wright / USA
22/03/2013 00:07
To Greg #6 'What a terrible liar - Israel is ready to negotiate tomorrow without preconditions. ' That's what I said to the steak I was eating last night when it wanted to discuss the situation. Sure -- but I'm not going to stop eating.

16 ) southparkbear / usa
22/03/2013 00:25
so secretive the paper will be blank

17 ) shirley / Australia
22/03/2013 02:21
SHAME ON MAAN NEWS YOU HAVE FINALLY PROVEN MY SUSPICIONS OF YOU YOU DO NOT RESPECT FREE SPEECH YOU ARE A ZIONIST US PLANT IN PALESTINE YOU REFUSE TO LET PALESTINIANS UNDERSTAND THE REALITY OR GIVE THEM ALL OPTIONS AGAIN I WRITE WHICH YOU REFUSE TO PUBLISH A FREEZE IS ILLEGAL IT ALLOWS ISREAL TO KEEP PLANNING AND BUILDING A HALT IS THE ONLY LEGAL OPTION J CARTER CLEARLY STATED OBAMA MANIPULATED INT LAW TO CREATE THE TERM FREEZE TO TRAP PALS INTO MORE USELESS TALKS SOME PALS REALIZEDAND PLAN BEATE

18 ) JoeUSA / USA
22/03/2013 03:53
Coexistence is not possible. We see how the Arabs who are Israeli citizens are treated by the imposed state . If this is the example of coexistence , who in his sound mind will be calling for their own thrid class citizenry forever.Or right wingers in the Kneset calling for your transfer ( forced expulsion is more appropriate word). Those who are calling for negotiations are fools. You cannot negotiate with Israel . 20 years of talking.Worsening reality on the ground. Occupation must be costly.

19 ) gabi / australia
22/03/2013 07:54
# 6 - Greg, what have you been reading? Not the Likud charter, that's for sure. Read it to see what pre-conditions Israel has - it won't take long. And then ponder this - that all the Palestinians are "demanding" is that Israel abide by international law. Not that hard to understand, is it? #8 - remind me, how much does the US give Israel each year? 3 billion? 4 billion?

20 ) Colin Wright / USA
22/03/2013 21:33
To Money #8 'So, US and EU can stop financial aid to palestinians now.' Good stuff. Stop aid to Israel as well, and we've got a deal. See how easy that was?

21 ) Colin Wright / USA
22/03/2013 21:44
Maybe Abbas could sweeten the deal. He could secretly agree to not build any Palestinian settlements in Mogilev or Bialystok in exchange. In fact, he could agree to withdraw all support for Palestinian settlers in Netanyahu's homeland if Bibi does the same with regards to Jewish settlers in Palestine. Fair is fair...

22 ) Mel / USA
22/03/2013 22:52
Please forgive #12,everyone.Obviously the anonymous person daren't use his/her own identity & is cut&paste-ing my comments randomly! I AM HONORED tho!You can tell it's not me,coz they are left unfinished! YO,Abbas? The only thing is,the WORLD is not WILLING to accept anything SECRETLY from war criminal Nazi Israel.Any deals made are expected to be made PUBLICALLY & transparently,with the FULL consent of the PALESTINIAN PEOPLE! Nothing to hide=nothing to FEAR!

23 ) Tissa / Sri Lanka
23/03/2013 11:36
#8.Dont insult people like that. Do you know that 70% of the Palestinians have one vege. meal a day. No money for meat or fish. Allow Pals. to farm their land run their industries

24 ) Julie / USA
23/03/2013 18:18
the settlement freeze nuttyahoo announced publicly was violated the entire time with the building of settlements, why would this secret freeze be any different? IT WON'T BE!!! illegal settlement construction will continue, especially after the head nazi bibi formed his new criminal govt filled with none other than: ILLEGAL CRIMINAL TERRORIST SQUATTERS!

25 ) Outlier / USA
23/03/2013 19:00
How about he accept an immediate start to negotiations, too.

26 ) ian / australia
24/03/2013 06:53
Freeze shmeeze. A total distraction. If they're never going to honour it, why ask for it? Obama has dumped it as unattainable and a waste of effort. Only Abbas stubbornly insists on it, like a stuck record, which just makes him look uncooperative (if not senile). The important thing is to return to "negotiations", the pointless ritual of "peace talks"...but to EXPOSE it as futile. To BROADCAST the failure. To make it clear that Israel refuses to offer anything remotely serious and rejects EVERY

27 ) ian / australia
24/03/2013 06:53
(contd.) reasonable Palestinian proposal. (The point is to START making proposals. Lots of them. Not refusing to talk because Israel won't open up the gaols!) And when the point has been accepted by the intl comm, the model of "negotiations" leading to "agreement" can be dumped too. And something new tried. Like the law.

28 ) Hisham / Canada
28/03/2013 14:02
Palestinians have been treated badly,throught history. However, it is not the Jews who are solely responsible for this the Hashemites, the Syrians are equally responsible. Israel will never give up what they have, so get new solutions.

29 ) dan / usa
31/03/2013 18:32
To #28 let me emphasize that again, ISRAEL WILL NEVER GIVE UP THEIR LAND AGAIN!!!! Its peace or suffering let the palestinians make their choice
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