Ali Waked
October 12, 2010 - 12:00am,7340,L-3968179,00.html

Neither the Palestinian Authority nor Washington are taking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel prior to a renewed movement freeze seriously, a senior Palestinian official told Ynet Tuesday.

The source went on to say that the PA viewed the demand as "unacceptable" and that the US sees it as "ridiculous."

Netanyahu's demand, he said, is viewed as more than an attempt to appease his coalition partners, but rather, as a fundamental change in Israel's stance. Washington, see it as "an Israeli negation on its pledge not to derail the talks," he said.

"Netanyahu seems to have realized that there is an international consensus that settlements would have to be evacuated, and it caused him to back out of what was viewed as such an innovative and brave position, even Arab leaders were surprised by it. He has now shaken up those who believed that he was truly striving for peace."

As for Netanyahu's demand for Palestinian recognition in Israel, the source said that "We have acknowledged Israel and we will not be dragged into wordplay over a state we already recognize."

The indirect talks between Israel and the PA are said to continue with American mediation, but the Palestinian official said direct talks are unlikely to resume in the coming weeks.

"We don't think any real progress will take place before the US midterm elections next month, or before Netanyahu completes his assessment of internal politics in Israel," he said.


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