In an interview with a correspondent from the Israeli Radio, Gal Berger, an advisor to the President of the Palestinian Authority, Nimer Hammad said that despite his pessimism regarding the possibility of reaching an agreement with Israel, he believes that if they were to reach an agreement over the two main issues, borders and security, then negotiations on the issue of refugees can be postponed until after the 9-month period set for the current negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
According to recorded excerpts of the interview aired on Israeli Radio this morning, Nimer Hammad said: “If an agreement was reached during this round of negotiations on the two key issues, borders and security, then that will be the primary judge of the outcome of the negotiations…then 90 per cent of the other issues are solved.”
Hammad also said, “If this is done, then negotiations on the issue of the refugees can be postponed until after the 9-month period set for negotiations. We can then negotiate who will return, how, how many, but now, due to the major obstacle of settlements, everything is closed.”
The advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas also said that he personally was not optimistic about the possibility of reaching an agreement, noting that this can only be achieved if there is a change on the Israeli side. That entails either a change in Netanyahu himself and his position, or a change in the current coalition government; otherwise the situation will remain the same.
Hammad pointed out that the indications the Palestinians were given by Livni and Molcho during the negotiations were vague and unclear.