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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Palestinians renege on understandings

So what else is new? A similar phenomenon was observed in May of 2000, when Palestinians reneged on earlier agreements before going to the Camp David meetings.
'Palestinians have backtracked on all understandings'

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST  Nov. 18, 2007
The Palestinians have backtracked on all understandings that were reached on a joint Israeli-Palestinian statement to be presented at the Annapolis peace conference, senior diplomatic officials were quoted as saying Sunday.
According to the sources, the Palestinians have "returned to square one, to [a point that] preceded the beginning of the negotiations."
The possibility that each side would present a separate statement was being weighed, officials said, claiming that the conference was only meant to be a venue for launching negotiations in the presence of representatives from dozens of countries.
Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams were slated to reconvene Sunday, and on Monday Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Senior government officials said Saturday night that negotiations themselves would not take place at Annapolis, but rather that the negotiating process would begin "immediately" afterward. No date or venue was given for these negotiations, although they are expected to be carried out by the same teams which have been negotiating the statement to be unveiled at Annapolis.
Senior officials in the Prime Minister's Office declined to respond to various Palestinian reports that "failure" at Annapolis would lead to Abbas's resignation or could possibly spark another round of terrorist violence.
"The meeting at Annapolis is the beginning of a process," one official said. "It is the first time in seven years that the sides are openly having a dialogue that we hope will lead to a final settlement of some sort. Annapolis is the stepping-off point, and in that sense it is an important landmark, although the event itself is essentially a show of international support for the bilateral track."
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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