Palestinians Call on Israel to Seize Last Chance for Peace
The executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) called on Israel Saturday to seize the "last chance for peace" and apply international resolutions and accords introduced since 1993, reported AFP.
"We ask the Israeli government to seriously consider the last chance for peace and to respect the international resolutions and pledges concluded with the Palestinians," the governing committee said in a statement after a meeting in Ramallah, chaired by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
The committee heard a report by Palestinian negotiators back from New York after meetings with US officials and warned Israel that "a breakdown in last-ditch negotiations would have serious consequences and would affect all parties concerned about peace."
The committee said "peace will never be implemented at the cost of the rights of the Palestinians, notably in regard to Jerusalem and the holy sites," which they wish to be in Palestinian-held territory, according to AFP.
Meanwhile, Israeli prime minister's spokesman, Gadi Baltiansky, said that contacts between the sides will continue, although he did not say when or where, reported the Jerusalem Post newspaper.
He denied that the return of the Palestinian negotiating team was the result of a breakdown in contacts. On the other hand, he said Israel still has not discerned any flexibility on the part of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, added the paper.
The paper, meanwhile, quoted Arafat’s top aide, Nabil Abu Rudeine as saying that Israel has deliberately delayed the resumption of negotiations.
"We are looking for a comprehensive agreement... for without it the situation will deteriorate on the ground, and this will cause serious problems for both sides," Abu Rudeine told The Jerusalem Post – (Several Sources)
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