Palestinian official underwhelmed by Livni appointment
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Palestinian official underwhelmed by Livni appointment

Israel will have to freeze settlement and acknowledge need for agreement based on '67 borders before progress can be made, Abbas Zaki says

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

From left: then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni, then-prime minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei, during a meeting in Jerusalem in November, 2007 (photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO/Flash90)
From left: then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni, then-prime minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei, during a meeting in Jerusalem in November, 2007 (photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO/Flash90)

A Palestinian Authority official on Thursday dismissed the significance of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s appointment of Tzipi Livni as the minister in charge of negotiations with the Palestinians in his presumptive government.

Before Israel could talk about the progress toward peace with the Palestinians, it had to freeze settlement construction and start talking about two states based on the 1967 borders, PA official Abbas Zaki said.

Livni was versed in “cheating and disinformation,” he told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.

On Tuesday, Benjamin Netanyahu and Livni announced they had reached terms for Livni’s Hatnua party to join a Likud-Beytenu-led coalition, according to which Livni would be justice minister and head talks with the PA.

“Palestinians will be the only losers, and they will start from zero,” Zaki said, adding that Israel was under pressure from the US and Europe, both of which had started to blame Jerusalem, rather than the Palestinians, for the ongoing conflict.

Expressing hope that “Netanyahu will fail in forming his government,” Zaki said the Palestinians’ needs were “obvious,” and called on Livni to start negotiations “on the basis that the Palestinian state is based on the 1967 borders.”

Only if she did so would there be a chance for “real talks,” Zaki stated.

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