More Activity From Russia
After the visit of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Moscow in July, Palestine said it would only accept US participation in peace talks with Israel if Russia plays the role of an intermediary.
"The Russian Federation was authorized in the UNSC resolution 1850 that the Second International Conference after Annapolis [2007 Middle East Summit in Annapolis, Maryland] to be held in Moscow. So they have the authorization to convene an international conference in Moscow, and once the Russian Federation extends an invitation to us to participate in this international conference we will attend," Riyad Mansour, the head of the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, said.
"We stand for a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. We believe that the best way to do it is through the dialogue. We have 25 years of negotiations but they have been fruitless. Israel must live up to its promises, but it’s clear that Israel is being backed by the United States. We stand for the negotiations to be held under the aegis of the international community, with an active role of Russia there. We would be ready to go back to the negotiations immediately," Nofal said.
Peace Talks as Collective Process
Washington was expected to present its peace plan for Israel and Palestine in the summer and, as US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley put it in February, it would not "be loved by either side." The document has not been presented yet.
Mansour suggested that Washington keeps acting unilaterally, supporting Israel and leaving no space for actual negotiations.
"They [the United States] did not submit any document, but it seems they are implementing a document that they have, they are keeping it secret, because they said they removed Jerusalem from the table, now they are removing the refugees from the table, they are accepting settlements, therefore they are removing it from the table, so what’s left on the table?… They are implementing it now and they are not putting the document on the table to look at," Mansour said.
According to recent media reports, the US administration is considering a new definition for Palestinian refugees: so that only those who had to flee in the conflicts of 1947-1948 and 1967 could have a refugee status.
Mansour said Palestine would not accept a one-sided American scenario for Israel and Palestine and that international negotiations were needed in order to move forward.
"We would not accept the United States to be the only party to supervise a political process. We want a collective process to include the Russian Federation, the EU, the UN, the Americans, the Chinese and maybe others who are interested. Collective would increase the chances of success – and we are interested in success," Mansour said.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalated in March 2018, when Palestinians launched weekly protest campaigns at the Gaza border. The protests have at times resulted in clashes between protesters and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Some Palestinian militants have been sending incendiary balloons across the border, while the IDF at times has had to open gunfire.
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