Abbas cancels meeting with Olmert
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will not meet with Palestinian President Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday, at the Palestinians' request, an Israeli officialconfirmed Wednesday.
Chief Palestinian negotiator and Abbas aide Saeb Erekat said the two sides were in disagreement over the Palestinians' request that Israel release withheld Palestinian taxes. According to Haaretz, Palestinian officials said that Israel was also unwilling to accept a Palestinian demand to agree to revive the cease-fire in the Gaza Strip on condition that it is extended to the West Bank.
"The meeting tomorrow (Thursday) between Prime Minister Olmert and Chairman Abbas has been postponed as per the Palestinians' request," Olmert's office said in a statement. An official in Olmert's bureau said no new date had been set for the summit.
Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah said: "There is a need to reach an agreement on some issues before convening the meeting."
A Palestinian official said Israel has to understand "Abbas is also under intense of pressure... It is unrealistic that Abu Mazen [Abbas] push for the Palestinian factions to cease Qassam rocket fire, and for Israel to give nothing in return."