No meeting with Netanyahu for now: Palestine’s Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which had been proposed by Russia, has been delayed and will not be held for now.

Abbas made the announcement during a joint press conference with his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, in Warsaw on Tuesday.

Abbas added that he had agreed to a proposal by Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet Netanyahu in Moscow on September 9 and planned to travel to the Russian capital directly from Warsaw.

“Unfortunately, yesterday in Jerusalem President Putin’s representative and … Netanyahu’s representative held a meeting and … Netanyahu’s representative proposed to postpone the meeting for later, “the Palestinian president said, adding, “So the meeting will not happen, but I am ready and I declare again that I will go to any meeting.”

On Monday, Abedel Hafiz Nofal, the Palestinian ambassador to Moscow, said that Abbas had accepted the Russian initiative for a meeting with Netanyahu, noting, however, that “the Israelis are evading the requirements of the meeting.”

Netanyahu’s office also said in a statement on Monday that Putin’s Middle East envoy Mikhail Bogdanov had discussed the proposal with the Israeli premier in Jerusalem al-Quds.

The last round of the so-called peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians collapsed in 2014. Tel Aviv’s illegal settlement activities in the occupied lands and its refusal to release senior Palestinian prisoners were among the major reasons behind the failure of the discussions.

The last substantial public meeting between Abbas and Netanyahu was held back in 2010, though there have been reports of secret meetings between the two officials since then.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Abbas described as crucial international help to bring an end to the decades-long Israeli aggression against Palestine.

“The [so-called] peace process has stalled because of the Israeli … [regime’s] position and we now need the political and economic help of the United States and the European Union, especially to rebuild our infrastructure,” he said.

Palestinian protesters react to a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops during clashes close to Israel’s Ofer Prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah, August 18, 2016. ©Reuters

The occupied territories have witnessed new tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

At least 236 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in the tensions since the beginning of last October. The violence has also killed at least 32 Israelis, two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese.

By Press TV