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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

America and Israel Call for Palestinians to Resume Peace Talks; Abbas Rejects Offer

On Sept. 27, PA President Mahmoud Abbas declined Israel's offer to resume direct peace talks in a speech at the U.N. General Assembly. (AP/Richard Drew)

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas again declined Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s offer to resume direct negotiations, while also ignoring President Donald Trump’s declaration this week of support for a two-state solution. Instead, President Abbas used his U.N. General Assembly speech today to continue a strategy of attacking Israel relentlessly in international forums to impose conditions on Israel. Peace will ultimately require Palestinian leaders to live up to their obligations and seek an agreement with Israel at the negotiating table.

Simultaneously, Palestinian infighting continues to obstruct international efforts to assist the people of Gaza. Earlier this week, Hamas accused Fatah (the political party of President Abbas) of obstructing Gaza ceasefire talks and threatened to respond by increasing attacks against Israel. In recent months, Hamas and other terrorists in Gaza have launched into Israel more than 650 rockets and mortars, as well as hundreds of flaming kites and balloons.

In the last year, President Abbas has set back the cause of peace by:

  • Refusing direct, bilateral talks with Israel and announcing his intention to use the international community to impose unilateral conditions on Israel.

  • Continuing to press for action against Israel at the International Criminal Court.

  • Continuing payments to terrorists and their families, including publicly announcing the intention to pay the murderer of U.S. citizen Ari Fuld, who was killed in a Sept. 16 terror attack.

  • Exacerbating the economic hardship in Gaza by obstructing humanitarian aid, refusing to back plans to rehabilitate Gaza, and stopping salary payments to PA employees in Gaza.

  • Demanding that countries "review their recognition of the State of Israel."

  • Declaring that Palestinians would no longer be bound by previous peace agreements with Israel.

  • Denying any historical Jewish connection to Jerusalem, stating, "It is a Palestinian Arab Muslim Christian city, the eternal capital of the state of Palestine."

  • Demeaning the victims of the Holocaust, claiming they chose to stay in Europe rather than immigrating to the Holy Land.

Israel stands ready to engage with the Palestinians:

  • Israel has repeatedly offered to restart peace negotiations and has actively engaged with the United States team leading this effort.

  • Prime Minister Netanyahu on Sept. 26 reiterated his support for a Palestinian state, saying, "I am willing for the Palestinians to have the authority to rule themselves without the authority to harm us."

  • Despite facing ongoing terrorism from Gaza, Israel is taking concrete steps to support water, sanitation, and electricity projects there. Nearly every day, hundreds of trucks enter Gaza from Israel carrying thousands of tons of food, medicine, construction materials, and other commercial goods.

Type: Memo