The U.S. Senate seal. Credit: U.S. Senate.

( A letter currently circulating in the U.S. Senate urges Palestinian
Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas “to enter into direct
negotiations with Israel without preconditions on final status issues whereby
Israelis and Palestinians live side by side in peace and security,” has learned. U.S. Sens. Bob Casey,
Jr. (D-PA) and Jim Risch (R-ID) are listed as the letter’s authors.

The U.S. Senate seal. Credit: U.S. Senate.

Secretary of State John Kerry has frequently visited Israel and the Palestinian
territories since assuming his post in February, and has so far been
unsuccessful in his attempts to re-start peace negotiations between the two
parties. The PA will not
resume peace talks with Israel unless it receives a guarantee that the Jewish
state will discuss the general borders of a future Palestinian state, Israel Hayom reported Friday. Other PA
preconditions for resuming talks has been Israel’s release of all
Palestinian terrorists imprisoned before the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords,
and an Israeli construction freeze in areas beyond the pre-1967 lines.

have a unique opportunity to make substantial progress toward establishing real
peace in the region and leave a lasting legacy for the Palestinian people,” the
senatorial letter to Abbas states, according to a copy obtained by “As you know, the United States
has renewed its commitment to the peace process. We support Secretary Kerry’s
strong efforts to engage with you and the Israelis to move towards an
agreement. President Obama has appointed General John Allen as a Special Envoy
to focus on security issues related to the negotiations. These initiatives have
bipartisan support in the United States Senate, but only insofar as they
produce the imminent start of negotiations and provide security for Israelis
and Palestinians.”

Israeli government “has expressed its commitment to engage in immediate and
comprehensive talks,” the letter notes. The PA, meanwhile, made a
unilateral move last year to obtain non-member observer state status at the
United Nations. In that regard, the senators asked Abbas to “commit to a
constructive approach and discontinue any efforts to work through international
institutions to achieve a Palestinian state.”

urge you (Abbas) to act with a renewed sense of urgency so that the goal of two
states living side by side in peace and security can be finally realized,” the
letter concludes.

…read more


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