Oct 2, 2007 0:42 Updated Oct 2, 2007 11:08
KHALED ABU TOAMEH AND MARK WEISS
The Palestinians will only participate in the US-sponsored peace conference expected to be held next month if general agreement is first reached with Israel on all the fundamental issues, Palestinian Authority officials here said Monday.
They said that in addition to Jerusalem, the borders of the future Palestinian state and the problem of the refugees, the PA was also seeking agreement on water, security and settlements.Meanwhile Monday evening, 16 Gazans were wounded in Khan Yunis in fighting between Hamas and Fatah gunmen. The clashes began when Hamas's Executive Force tried to arrest a Fatah man.
The officials also denied that the PA had agreed to discuss an exchange of land with Israel and limiting the number of refugees who would return to Israel proper. They said the PA's official position remained that Israel must withdraw from all the territories captured in 1967, including east Jerusalem, and that there would be no concessions on the "right of return."
According to another PA official, the Palestinians want the declaration of principles to include an Israeli commitment to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders. "As President Mahmoud Abbas stated last week, we have no intention to compromise on any of our rights," he said. Could it be that the Arabs will "never miss an opportunity to miss and opportunity"? Because I'm concerned that Olmert/Ramon/Livni will continue with their "yard sale" of Israel.