Abbas admits: ‘I rejected Israeli offer of PA state’
By Hillel Fendel
For the first time, Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas has admitted that he rejected “out of hand” an Israeli offer for a PA state on nearly 95% of Judea and Samaria.
In 2008, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered to agree to the creation of an independent PA state including all of Gaza, nearly all of Judea/Samaria, and parts of Israel – a total area equal to 99.5% of the size of Judea and Samaria. In addition, a tunnel would connect Judea/Samaria to Gaza, and the PA state would have its capital in eastern Jerusalem. Not only that: Olmert also agreed to the return of 5,000 Arab refugees from the 1948 War of Independence over five years.
Abbas never publicly admitted that he turned down this offer – until this past week.
In an interview on Israel’s Channel 10, Abbas said that in September of 2008, Olmert presented him with a map that delineated the borders of the proposed PA state. The Channel 10 interviewer asked, “In the map that Olmert presented you, Israel would annex 6.3 percent [of Judea/Samaria] and compensate the Palestinians with 5.8 percent [taken from pre-1967 Israel]. What did you propose in return?”
Abbas replied, “I did not agree … I rejected it out of hand.” Abbas in fact did not initial the map, and the PA never officially responded to the Olmert offer.
This jibes with Olmert’s report of the meeting. Olmert has said that Abbas said at the time, “I am not in a marketplace or a bazaar. I came to demarcate the borders of Palestine – the June 4, 1967 borders – without detracting a single inch, and without detracting a single stone from Jerusalem, or from the holy Christian
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