The Prime Minister’s Office denied a report Thursday suggesting that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders and to the establishment of a Palestinian state in those territories.
“No such thing ever happened,” Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said, according to Haaretz, in response to an interview by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to Palestine TV, in which he reportedly told the channel that the Israeli prime minister had agreed to establish a Palestinian state on land Israel captured in the 1967 war and that the only remaining step was to set a border.
During the interview Thursday night, the Palestinian leader said he would demand from Israel and the US to outline specific borders for a Palestinian state. If Israel does not respond, “we have what to do,” he said in an apparent veiled threat to take Palestinian demands to the international sphere.
“We will not go into a discussion about areas A, B, and C. We need each state to finally determine their borders. Israel is the only state in the world with no known borders,” he said.
“We are willing to wait a day, a week or a month,” Abbas said, according to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency, “but not 20 more years.” He said that officials Saeb Erekat and Majid Faraj were set to meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the border issue, but did not specify when.
“If they agree, we will be free with our borders. We will not accept that Israel launches a war against us every two years,” he added.
Netanyahu rejected negotiations on the basis of the pre-1967 lines when Kerry launched his unsuccessful effort at peace talks last year. In recent weeks, the prime minister has said the conflict with Hamas underlines his concern with the need to maintain security control of the West Bank to ensure that the area not turn into another Gaza.
Abbas also said that the Palestinians “will not forgive” Israel and it “will not get away with its crimes” against the Palestinian people.
The PA president said rival parties such as Hamas must not attempt to overrun the government.
“The decision about peace and war is in the hands of the (Palestinian) Authority or otherwise it will be chaos,” continued Abbas.
“Hamas has a shadow government in Gaza, they have undersecretaries for ministries, and if that continues it will put the national unity at risk,” he added.
Abbas concluded by criticizing Hamas for the “criminal” public executions of dozens of alleged “collaborators” with Israel.