US/World News

Report: Abbas turned down peace initiative presented by Biden

(JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas turned down a U.S. peace initiative presented to him during a West Bank meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, a Palestinian newspaper reported. The report in the Jerusalem-based Al-Quds cited a “source familiar with the details” from the March 9 meeting in Ramallah, the seat of the P.A. The new American initiative to restart peace talks included designating eastern Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state, halting settlement construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and giving up the demand for a Palestinian “right of return.” Palestinian political analysts played down the significance of Biden’s visit to Ramallah and his proposal, according to Al-Quds.

Meanwhile, Abbas also reportedly praised as a “martyr” a Palestinian woman who tried to kill an Israeli soldier in a car-ramming attack last week at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank. The letter was sent to the parents of Amani Husni Sabatin, 34, according to the Times of Israel. “We see in her a martyr who watered the pure earth of Palestine with her blood,” Abbas wrote, and signed it “Your brother, Mahmoud Abbas, president of the State of Palestine.”

Also March 9, Kerry, following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem criticized the failure of Palestinian and international leaders to condemn terror attacks in Israel.

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