Abbas Ready to Meet Olmert

The Palestinian leader has said he is ready to sit down for peace talks with Ehud Olmert, the acting prime minister of Israel, as soon as possible.

Abbas Ready to Meet Olmert
"I am ready to meet him as soon as possible and I hope to sit round the negotiating table immediately," Mahmoud Abbas told reporters in Ram Allah on Wednesday.
  
"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. 

The boycott

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. 

Activists detained 

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.
   
Upcoming elections

Israel recently lifted a ban on 
voting in East Jerusalem

Police have previously arrested several members of Hamas for campaigning in Jerusalem, a city Israel regards as its capital, but which Palestinians also seek to make theirs. 
   
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 Jazeera

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
Add Comment