US President Barack Obama hauled Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas over the coals when they talked by phone Monday, March 19. Although Palestinian sources reported that it was Abbas who ticked off the US president, in fact Obama coldly demanded that the Palestinians return without further delay to the talks in the Jordanian capital of Amman which they quit abruptly after several rounds. He asked Abbas not to post the letter announcing the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to resume negotiations with Israel, which he planned to send to the UN Secretary General and Security Council.
Obama specifically asked the Palestinian leader to pick up the Amman talks from the point at which he broke them off. The Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s personal envoy Yitzhak Molcho had presented the Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat with a list of 21 points summarizing Israel’s final positions. When Erekat asked for more specifics, Molcho brought to the next meeting Maj. Gen. Natan Eshel, Head of the IDF’s Planning Division, to fill in the requested details.
Without further ado, Erekat terminated the session by walking out without listening to what the general had to say.F
From that point on, the talks were discontinued.
DEBKA sources report that President Obama demanded clarifications from Abbas for the Palestinian negotiator’s behavior. Their conversation ended on a harsh note when Abbas proved immovable in his refusal to go back to the negotiating table.
In an article Monday, in the Al Quds newspaper, Palestinian ex-prime minister Ahmad Qurai (Abu Ala) proclaimed the death of the two-state solution for the Palestinian issue.