Palestinians said drafting list of demands if limited peace talks resume

PA said seeking resumption of operations in East Jerusalem, ending settlement expansion, restricting police activity on Temple Mount, permission to build international airport

Orient House in East Jerusalem, October 14, 2007 (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Orient House in East Jerusalem, October 14, 2007 (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is drafting a list of demands that would be raised if peace talks with Israel were restarted under US sponsorship, according to an Israeli television report Sunday.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been moribund since 2014.

The reported move comes amid indications that the Biden administration is interested in mediating fresh talks that would seek to improve the situation in the West Bank and Gaza and the relations between Israel and the PA, without aiming to reach a comprehensive and final peace deal.

According to the Channel 12 news report, the list of demands is still being kept under wraps.

Among the demands reportedly on it are the opening of Palestinian Authority political institutes, including the highly symbolic Orient House, and resumption of PA activities in East Jerusalem, which were largely halted or curtailed since 2001 due to the Second Intifada. The PA would also want the situation on the Temple Mount to return to how it was two decades ago, when Israel Police activity was limited and visits by Jews to the Mount were greatly restricted.

An end to settlement expansion and Israeli construction in East Jerusalem are also on the list, according to Channel 12. Israel sees all of Jerusalem as its capital, including the eastern part which Palestinians want as the capital for a future state.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech regarding the coronavirus pandemic, at PA headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 5, 2020.

Other demands called for halting IDF raids into Palestinian cities which are usually aimed at apprehending terror suspects.

The PA also wants an increase in the number of permits granted to Palestinians enabling them to work in Israel.

The PA also reportedly seeks Palestinian operation of border crossing points from the West Bank to neighboring Jordan, permission to build an international airport, and a power station as well as a free trade area.

The PA would also seek the release of dozens of prisoners held in Israeli prisons who were supposed to have been set free in 2014 but weren’t amid a spat over a Palestinian push to join international treaties affiliated with the United Nations, which Israel opposed for being a unilateral move by the Palestinians on the international stage.

Although the Trump administration presented a peace plan in January 2020 that was embraced by Israel, it was rejected outright by the Palestinians who saw it as biased toward the Jewish state.

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