Ramallah – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated on Monday
his rejection of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s stipulations for a
two-state solution.

Speaking at an event inaugurating a housing project northwest of Ramallah,
Abbas said, “If Israel agrees on freezing settlement construction, we can
start negotiations, however, they have to accept the two-state solution
rather than imposing pre-conditions that empty that solution of its

Netanyahu said in a speech on 14 June that Palestinians must recognize
Israel as a Jewish state, and that any future Palestinian state must be
demilitarized and enjoy no control of its airspace or borders.

“A Palestinian state [must] live side by side next to Israel in dignity and
stability,” Abbas said, reiterating what his spokesperson said immediately
after Netanyahu delivered his speech two weeks ago.

In a different regard, Abbas addressed the issue of the new round of
Fatah-Hamas talks in Cairo. “We gave emphatic directives to our delegation
to Cairo because we don’t want this dialogue to last forever, and we want
this round to make success at any rate,” Abbas asserted.

He added, “Today we released a number of detainees, and I emphasize that we
don’t have anybody who have been detained for political affiliation because
we respect people’s freedom. However, anyone who tries to disturb security
and order in this country will not be given opportunity.”

According to the Palestinian Authority security spokesman, Abbas ordered the
release of 100 security detainees from West Bank prisons in a goodwill
gesture to Hamas.

The PA’s Preventive Security Service released the first 12 of these in
Nablus, in the northern West Bank on Monday afternoon….