Kerry Foiled Again?

Palestinians claim they did not agree to new talks

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Celebrations over the renewal of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks descended into confusion on Monday, as P.A. spokesmen claimed that the Palestinians did not agree to new talks and still insisted on preconditions that Israel has already rejected.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh and Yasser Abed Rabbo, described by the Times of Israel as "the only Palestinian officials authorized to speak on the matter," both rejected U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's claim that renewed negotiations were in the offing.

Abu Rudeineh claimed that Palestinian preconditions, especially their demand that negotiations must be based on Israel's pre-1967 borders, still stand. The P.A., he said, had only agreed to talks that would "overcome the obstacles that still stand in the way of launching negotiations."

This appears to indicate that the Palestinians had only agreed to talk about possibly talking.

If these claims are true, they would likely torpedo any upcoming talks, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long rejected any preconditions for talks, and the U.S. has agreed.

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