April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian leadership on Tuesday questioned the possibility of further Israeli withdrawals from the West Bank.

Reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was considering withdrawing troops from the West Bank "were no more than plays," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee.

"Don't believe what the Israeli media said... these are trial balloons and plays by the Israeli governments to avoid their international obligations," Abed Rabbo told Voice of Palestine radio.

Israel Haaretz daily said that Netanyahu was also weighing other measures to counter "diplomatic tsunami" if the United Nations General Assembly recognizes a Palestinian state on the land Israel has occupied in 1967.

Among the other measures is a call for an international meeting to resume peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Ha' aretz reported. Netanyahu will also try to persuade European states not to recognize the Palestinian state in September.

The resumption of Jewish settlement activities in the West Bank was the reason that let the Palestinians walk out of U.S.-brokered peace negotiations in September 2010.

So far, Netanyahu is not considering evacuation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank as part of the measures he studies, the report said.


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