Palestinians let Netanyahu off the 'peace hook'

Monday, February 04, 2013 |  Ryan Jones

Before he has even had a chance to form a new government, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is already under pressure from new US Secretary of State John Kerry to return to the negotiating table and make concessions to the Palestinians.

Fortunately for Netanyahu, the Palestinian leadership, famously never missing an opportunity to miss and opportunity, has already provided the Israeli leader with an "out."

The very day after Kerry phoned Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian officials began listing preconditions for even meeting with the Israelis.

Among those preconditions: The immediate release of all jailed Palestinians, most of whom have either tried or succeeded in killing Jews, and a full halt to the building of homes for Jews in areas claimed by the Palestinian Authority, including the eastern half of Jerusalem.

Both are red lines no Israeli government could cross, even one headed by the left-wing Labor Party.

Israeli leaders from across the political spectrum have blamed Abbas and his regime for scuttling peace talks over the past four years by refusing to talk without preconditions that would prejudice the outcome of negotiations.

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