May 8th, 2010
02:19 PM ET

Palestinian leaders OK indirect talks with Israel

[Updated 4:03 p.m.] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the talks should be conducted without preconditions and lead as soon as possible to direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, spokesman Nir Hefetz said in a statement Saturday.

[Posted 2:19 p.m.] Palestinian leaders have agreed to begin indirect peace talks with Israel, a Palestinian official said Saturday.

U.S. special envoy George Mitchell will broker the talks, shuttling between the two sides, Palestinian presidential adviser Yasser Abed Rabbo told reporters.

The Palestine Liberation Organization's executive committee approved initiating talks after a three-hour meeting in Ramallah in the West Bank Saturday, Mitchell said.

U.S. officials hope the "proximity talks" will be the first step toward restarting direct talks between the two sides.

The last round of peace talks broke down in December 2008 over Israel's three-week military offensive against Hamas in Gaza.

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Filed under: Middle East • World
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Remi

    Let's hope this fresh initiative will thaw the ice. It's high time the two sides face the realities on ground and take practical steps to iron out their differences

    May 8, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ohan

    Israel will never comply with any peace terms any Arab country proposes. We obviously have observed this in the past with the Camp David Accords. For 13 days, Jimmy Carter almost gave himself a hernia when attempting To negotiate peace between Egypt and Israel. From the bottom of my heart, I truly hope peace will be negotiated after thousands of years.

    May 8, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ohan's brain

    Because handing over your sovereign capital is something that every country should do, right?

    May 8, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. pilgrim

    Ohan's Brain...you got it. No they should NOT have to hand over their sovereign capitol.
    Praying for the peace of Jerusalem.

    May 8, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jaime

    Israel has attempted peace for decades...but they are dealing with terrorists. Terrorists are not rational, open to reconciliation, etc. They teach their children Middle Eastern geography on maps with no Israel on them. Blowing themselves up in markets is the highest honor they can have. Israel should NOT hand over their sovereign capital, that is RIGHTFULLY theirs.

    May 8, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Palestine for ever

      why should be an Israel on the map? don't we have the right to live free and without any occupation ! is it too much to demand our country to be free ~! you don't know how much it's hard to live under occupation ! you never want to try this ! Terrorist ! come on man don't make me laugh ! if someone is defending his country ! home family and self you call this terrorist ! are you ok ! because i don't think i can call you terrorist if you are defending you family or home from from people who try to occupy it! do you accept to be called Terrorist ! Grown up, open your mind and stop falling into lies !

      May 20, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Janet Ankara

    Do not expect any peace progress with NETANYAHU. The last time he was prime minister the peace process did not make any progress and samething is going on here just talk.

    May 8, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Niner

    Jaime – You do not know what you are talking about, so stop pretending that you are intimate with the history of the conflict or the region. Your words are those of Zionist apologetics, which is defense of a racist, segregationist politicized religion/ethnicity, thus a dangerous orthodoxy. Read a frickin' book thats not written by Alan Dershowitz. For the record, Islam is garbage, too, but they or other Palestinians are not at fault here. Oh and tell your friends to stop conflating anti-semitism with anti-Zionism; it is not the same thing.

    Niner

    May 8, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kermit Roosevelt

    I was going to argue Niner's point until I read it more carefully. I suggest others do the same.

    May 8, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kermit Roosevelt

    And for the record, Niner, your point is perhaps too nuanced for most of the reactionary black-or-white postings you'll find here. Well put. I almost knee-jerked based on a cursory glance at the word "Zionism" until I read it again.

    May 8, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |