Palestinian Authority Says It Is Ready To Restart Peace Negotiations With Israel

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas denounces the Trump administration's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan at a meeting of the U.N. Security Council in New York City, Feb. 11, 2020. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (JTA) – With the date set by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to begin annexing West Bank territory days away, the Palestinians appear ready to restart peace negotiations with Israel.

A four-page letter from the Palestinian Authority sent to the so-called Quartet – the diplomatic grouping of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia — said it was “ready to resume direct bilateral negotiations where they stopped,” according to AFP. The French news agency reported that it saw the text on Monday but not when it had been sent.

The letter said the counterproposal would be withdrawn if Israel went ahead with annexation “of any part of the Palestinian territory,” according to the report.

“We are ready to have our state with a limited number of weapons and a powerful police force to uphold law and order,” the letter said.

The government coalition agreement between Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz allows annexation to begin taking place on July 1.

The Palestinians have rejected the Trump peace plan unveiled earlier this year allowing Israel to annex up to 30% of the West Bank and providing for a Palestinian state on the remaining 70%. The plan calls for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. No talks have been held since 2014.

The P.A. said it would accept an international force to monitor compliance with a peace treaty. It also proposed “minor border changes that will have been mutually agreed, based on the borders of June 4, 1967.”

P.A. Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said on June 9 that the P.A. had submitted a proposal to the Quartet.

Shtayyeh said at the time that the proposal calls for a “sovereign Palestinian state, independent and demilitarized” with “minor modifications of borders where necessary.” He declined to provide further details.

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