- The Washington Times - Monday, July 22, 2013

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas declared there would be no peace agreement with Israel unless Israel first orders all citizens from disputed lands.

He made the statements in direct response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s push to bring any peace deal to referendum for approval.

To a Jordanian newspaper, Mr. Abbas said – just minutes after Mr. Netanyahu’s statements to his Cabinet – that “any solution must remove Israel permanently from Palestinian land,” Ynet News reported. He also echoed Mr. Netanyahu’s proposal and said that “any agreement reached with the Israelis will be brought to a referendum.”

The Jordan paper reported the story on Monday, but said Mr. Abbas made the statements in an interview on Friday, right after Mr. Netanyahu spoke and right after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced peace talks between the two entities were resuming.

 Mr. Abbas also said, Ynet News reported: “The debate on the refugee issue will be part of the Arab Peace Initiative, in addition to agreements on security, borders and prisoners. Any security solution must remove Israel permanently from the Palestinian land, together with allowing Israel the right to defend its security within its borders, with accordance with the neighboring countries.”

Mr. Abbas claimed the United States was interested in the idea of a Palestinian state that honored the 1967 border, Ynet News reported. East Jerusalem would be the capital.


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