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Palestinian sources to i24NEWS: US envoy proposes Netanyahu, Abbas meet in July

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas (R) meets Jason Greenblatt, the US president's assistant and special representative for international negotiations, at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah on March 14, 2017
Abbas MOMANI (AFP)
Preconditions for peace talks include Israel agreeing to a partial West Bank settlement freeze

US President Donald Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday to discuss jump-starting peace negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government.

Palestinian sources told i24NEWS that Greenblatt proposed a face-to-face meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas, which would take place in July, in order to revive the stalled peace talks.

According to the same source, Greenblatt told Abbas that the Israeli government will offer goodwill gestures as preliminary conditions for peace talks including allowing Palestinians to build in the West Bank district of Area C, within which Israel has complete control over development and infrastructure, and to grant permission for Palestinians to begin developing an industrial zone in that area.

Israel will also be willing to implement a partial freeze on the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank but this would not include a freeze on the expansion of current settlements or any parts of Jerusalem. According to the source, Israel would be willing to keep the Allenby Bridge Checkpoint between Jordan and the West Bank open for 24 hours a day.

Palestinian sources also told i24NEWS that Abbas asked Greenblatt for American involvement in order to help bring an end to a mass Palestinian hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners which began on April 17. President Abbas presented the prisoners' demands to Greenblatt who said he would relay the information to Israeli officials and respond to the request later on Thursday.

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