RAMALLAH, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Despite a flaring violence in the West Bank, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Fatah ruling party decided on Saturday to give the U.S.-sponsored peace talks with Israel a chance until its ultimatum ends in April.
An official statement issued after a Fatah Central Committee meeting held in Ramallah and chaired by Abbas said it doesn't want to close any door or window for the efforts of rescuing the peace process until the Palestinians peacefully gain their legitimate rights.
The statement, published by the Palestinians state-run news agency "Wafa" was contrary to earlier Palestinian political powers and factions on Abbas to withdraw from the peace talks and stop all types of security coordination with Israel.
Their appeal was made in the wake of an earlier Israeli army force raid on the northern West Bank refugee camp of Jenin and killing three militants.
"The Palestinian leadership is committed to keep the talks with Israel until its nine-month ultimatum ends in late April," said the statement, adding "we will exert every possible effort to succeed the U.S. efforts made to rescue the peace process."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry managed last July to directly bring Israel and the Palestinians to the negotiation table. He gave the two sides a nine-month period to sign on a framework peace agreement that paves the road for a permanent peaceful solution.
"We stick to peace as a choice and this means that we want to reach a peace agreement that guarantees a full Israeli army withdrawal from the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967 including east Jerusalem," said Nabil Abu Rdineh, an aide to Abbas.
Abu Rdineh, also spokesman of Fatah, said the central committee adopted the same position and stressed that Israel must be committed to the release of prisoners, who were detained before Israel and the PLO signed Oslo accords in 1993.
RAMALLAH, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that he will advocate Palestinian rights during negotiations with Israel, as the United States urges Palestinians to extend the peace talks.
"I will not give away the Palestinian rights," Abbas told hundreds of loyalists at his office upon his arrival in Ramallah after a four-day visit to Washington to discuss the Israeli- Palestinian peace negotiations with President Barack Obama. Full story
RAMALLAH, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked U.S. President Barack Obama to press Israel to release Palestinian prisoners and freeze Israeli settlement for the extension of the peace talks ultimatum, a Palestinian official said on Wednesday.
The meeting held in the White House this week between Abbas and Obama "was difficult and wasn't decisive in terms of agreeing on the framework peace deal or agreeing on extending the peace talks with Israel," the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Full story
RAMALLAH, March 19 (Xinhua) -- An absolute majority among the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip believe that things are heading in the wrong direction, a public opinion survey showed Wednesday.
Sixty-six percent of the 1,200 sample people believe that things are heading in the wrong direction, while 49 percent said they are pessimistic about the future, according to the study conducted in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank by the Arab World Research and Development Center (AWRAD). Full story
WASHINGTON, March 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has protested to Israel over its Defense Minister Moshe Ya' alon's criticism of the Obama administration for being weak in dealing with Iran's nuclear issue and Ukraine's crisis, the State Department said Wednesday.
Kerry spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call Wednesday morning and lodged the protest about these comments, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a news briefing. Full story