The Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday he might withdraw from the political arena and “hand over the key to Israel to run Palestinian territories” should the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks fail, the Israeli Channel 2 reported.
In a meeting with Israeli Knesset members in Ramallah, Abbas alluded to dissolving the PA, indicating that this would be the official stance of the Palestinian negotiations team.
When this happens, Israel will bear the burden of running Palestinian territories, which costs around NIS 2 billion paid by donors to the PA.
In an effort to save the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, the US peace envoy to the Middle East Martin Indyk held two separate meetings with the heads of the Palestinian and Israeli negotiations teams on Thursday.
A Palestinian source said that Indyk discussed a package that would enable the peace talks to continue beyond April 29 deadline.
According to the source, the discussions were “very difficult” and “The gap is still wide.” He concluded: “No breakthrough was made.”
Indyk held another meeting with the head of the Palestinian negotiations team Saeb Erekat on Friday, but no leaks have revealed the results of the meeting yet.
Spokeswoman of the US State Department Jennifer Psaki said this week that the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are striving to reach an agreement to extend peace talks beyond the April 29 deadline.
During Wednesday’s meeting between Abbas and the Israeli MKs, Abbas said that in case negotiations were extended beyond April 29, he would like to discuss core issues, including borders, in the first three months.