Friday, January 3, 2014

Abu Mazen is opposed to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state

Abu Mazen is opposed to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state

Rivka Salomon

The Palestinian news agency Ma’an noted a senior level source in the Arab League stated that US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to present a new draft agreement between the parties on December 31. According to reports, Abu Mazen presented the precondition that the Arab League would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

US Secretary of State John Kerry will present an outline to Israelis and Palestinians on December 31, according to an official Arab League source quoted in the Ma’an Palestinian news agency.

 The one quoted by Ma’an is Muhammed Sabih, who focuses on Palestinian affairs in the Arab League.  He stated that Abu Mazen updated the Arab League about the expectation to present a proposal at the end of the month.   The proposal includes an outline for the future borders of the Palestinian state.   

 Sabih stated that Abu Mazen told the Arab League that the moment the Americans present their proposal, the Palestinians will not respond immediately.   Instead, Abu Mazen stated that they will bring their proposal to the Arab League and with the representatives of the Arab nations, decide whether to accept or reject the outline.

 Finally, Sabih testified that Abu Mazen presented preconditions that he is willing to accept.  Abu Mazen will accept a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital city along with partial and limited land swaps. The Palestinian Authority chairman will agree to the withdrawal of Israeli soldiers from Palestinian territories within three years.  

 In regards to a permanent Israeli presence within the Palestinian territories, Abu Mazen is to reject the IDF having a permanent presence in the Jordan Valley. However, he is expected to agree to the presence of an international force in the region.  In addition, the source reported that he is expected to refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

 Sabih stated that Abu Mazen seeks to reach a permanent agreement and therefore will reject any interim agreement if offered.  Finally, Abu Mazen stated that the Palestinians will reject the idea of a Palestinian state being demilitarized, but he assured that the Palestinians would not enter into an arms race with Israel.  This is all according to what was reported in the Palestinian news agency Ma’an.