"The only way that we can forge peace is through negotiations and not through killings, assassinations, attacks and unilateral measures." Abbas's comments came after Olmert said on Tuesday he hoped to resume negotiations with the Palestinian leadership after Israel's general election on 28 March. Ariel Sharon, the prime minister of Israel, who has been in a coma since suffering a brain haemorrhage two weeks ago, and Abbas met twice last year.
However, since a heated summit in June, the Israeli leader had declined to meet the Palestinian Authority president. Sharon completely boycotted Yasser Arafat, Abbas's predecessor who died in November 2004, and also withdrew troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip last summer on a unilateral basis.
Olmert has also said that there could be no progress on the peace process if Hamas, the Islamist group, entered a Palestinian government after elections in the West Bank and Gaza next Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Israeli police detained seven Palestinian activists campaigning in Arab East Jerusalem for next week's parliamentary election, accusing them of belonging to an outlawed group.
Shmuel Ben-Ruby, a spokesman for Jerusalem police, said the activists were taken for questioning while they were trying to convene a news conference at a hotel.
Among those in custody was the Jerusalem head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a group outlawed by Israel for involvement in attacks against its civilians during a more than five year Palestinian uprising, police said.
Israel recently lifted a ban on
Mickey Rosenfeld, a spokesman for national police, said other groups outlawed by Israel, such as the Popular Front, would also be stopped from campaigning in East Jerusalem.
It appeared to be the largest number of Palestinians held in the city for campaigning since the Israeli government agreed on Sunday to approve voting on 25 January in East Jerusalem.
Source: Al JazeeraLast Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16