- Apr 13, 2011
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
The Palestinian leadership will put to a referendum any deal reached in US-brokered talks with the Israelis on settling the historic conflict – matching a pledge made by the Israeli prime minister.Amid continuing uncertainty about whether Palestinian negotiators have fully committed to beginning preliminary talks in Washington next week, the president, Mahmoud Abbas, said: "Any agreement reached with the Israelis will be brought to a referendum."
On Sunday Binyamin Netanyahu told the Israeli cabinet that any deal would be put to the public for endorsement. "I do not think that such decisions can be made, if indeed an agreement is achieved, by this or that coalition process; it must be put to the people for a decision," the Israeli prime minister said.
Opinion polls suggest a majority backing on both sides for a two-state solution to the conflict, but the details of any agreement will be crucial in determining the outcome of any plebiscites. There are also strong opponents of concessions on both sides; notably, Israelis settlers and their supporters, and Hamas in Gaza.
Abbas made his referendum pledge in an interview with a Jordanian paper, Al Rai, in which he also said: "The United States is serious in formulating a solution to the Palestinian issue, through introducing a Palestinian state within the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital."
He added: "We want to reach a two-state solution … but as of now we have not achieved anything."
More details about the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails – part of a pre-talks agreement – were reported in the Israeli media. Eighty-two long-term prisoners would be freed in four stages. The first releases would come after four to six weeks of talks, and the remaining prisoners would be released at similar intervals.
Read more @: Palestinian leadership matches Israeli PM's peace deal referendum pledge | World news | guardian.co.uk
Another step forward in reaching the table with these peace talks! I can back these 100% and this referendum pledge is a huge sign that something is moving forward.