Report: Abbas turned down new US peace initiative presented by Biden

Marcy Oster

Mahmoud Abbas, right, meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman Jordan, Feb. 21, 2016. Jamal Nasrallah/Pool/Getty Images)

Mahmoud Abbas, right, meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman Jordan, Feb. 21, 2016. Jamal Nasrallah/Pool/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas turned down a peace initiative presented to him during a meeting with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a Palestinian newspaper reported.

The report in the Jerusalem-based newspaper cited a “source familiar with the details” from Wednesday’s meeting in Ramallah.

The new American initiative to restart peace talks included designating eastern Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state, halting settlement construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and giving up the demand for a Palestinian “right of return.”

Palestinian political analysts played down the significance of Biden’s visit to Ramallah and his proposal, according to Al-Quds.

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Meanwhile, Abbas also reportedly praised as a “martyr” a Palestinian woman who tried to kill an Israeli soldier in a car ramming attack at the Gush Etzion Junction in the West Bank last week.

The letter was sent to the parents of Amani Husni Sabatin, 34, from the Palestinian embassy in Jordan, whose ambassador is reportedly related to the attacker, according to the Times of Israel.

“We see in her a martyr who watered the pure earth of Palestine with her blood,” Abbas wrote, and signed it: “Your brother, Mahmoud Abbas, president of the State of Palestine.”

Kerry in Jerusalem on Wednesday following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the Palestinian leadership and other international leaders’ failure to condemn terror attacks in Israel.

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