The Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority is "doing its best" to block a third Intifada (uprising), said a senior PA and Fatah official on Thursday. Nabil Shaath added that the PA has lowered its expectations of preconditions for talks with the Israelis and if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he is ready to negotiate a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, "The PA will sit down with him tomorrow".
Speaking to Israeli journalists at a press conference, Shaath said that the authority has adopted a "no violence" policy but "cannot guarantee that an Intifada will not break out". Asked about Israel's prime minister, Shaath was clear: "I do not think that Benjamin Netanyahu is an extremist; he is a pragmatist."
During his speech, Shaath revealed that the PA spends more on security cooperation with Israel than it does on the education of Palestinian children. It also, he stressed, pays "as much as possible" to prevent violent actions against Israeli settlements and border guards.