Fatah reports that Israel has not responded to Abbas letter

Netanyahu shakes Saeb Erekat's hand during their meeting on 17 April (Maan)

According to a Fatah official, Israel has yet to respond to the letter written by President Mahmoud Abbas, which was delivered to Netanyahu on 17 April. In the letter, Abbas clarified Palestine’s commitment to peace talks, while also accusing Israel of undermining the PA and inhibiting peace talks. The letter also requested that Israel cease settlement activity and free Palestinian prisoners, many of whom have been on a hunger strike for almost two weeks.

The Fatah official told Maan News that the only response received so far was last week’s legalization of three more illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank. Netanyahu promised on 17 April that he would deliver an official reply within two weeks. The official told Maan thatĀ Israel’s response to the letter will determine the Palestinian Authority’s next steps, which could include applying to the United Nations General Assembly for membership.

The Fatah official added that any reshuffle in the cabinet would only take place once President Abbas returns from an African tour, adding that six new ministers may join the cabinet but that Abbas “has the final word” on changes.

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