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Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, said on Saturday that he was prepared to boost the peace process with Israel.
Abbas’ decision comes after a meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. Fabius admitted that a peace deal between Israel and Palestine is a necessary step for the Middle East. He said, "Even if we speak of other neighbouring countries—the dramatic conflict in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt—the fact remains that the Israeli-Palestinian issue is one of the issues, perhaps the central one, for the region," Agence France-Presse reports.
According to The Jerusalem Post, Abbas stated that it was important to continue peace talks with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “regardless of what is happening in the region and the surrounding circumstances." The Palestinian Authority President has repeated demands for Israel to stop building settlements, to release Palestinian prisoners, and for the US to get involved in the talks.
Many Palestinians however, have called Abbas’ decision to continue peace talks a “political failure,” The Jerusalem Post writes. Hamas Religious Affairs Minister Ismail Ridwan stated, "All the Palestinian factions say you don't have the right to relinquish any piece of our land, or to give up Palestinian rights. […] Returning to talks is a blow to the jihad and to the sacrifices of our people, the blood of our martyrs and to our prisoners behind bars in Israel."
IMG: Wikimedia Commons