Palestinians Reject Olmert's Proposal

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - The Palestinian Authority (PA) rejected Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's peace proposal published this week as "unacceptable."

Senior PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said the Palestinians weren't aware such a proposal existed.

"At no time were the Palestinians presented with a detailed set of proposals by [Prime Minister] Ehud Olmert or any Israeli official," Erekat said, adding that every detail of the report was either "completely untrue" or "not linked to reality."

On the other hand, Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said the proposal had been presented to the Palestinians six months ago, adding that it was "unacceptable" then and now.

"What we heard today is not new and is unacceptable and shows again that Israel is not serious concerning the peace process," Rudeina said.

"This is an attempt to escape from a just peace," he said.

Olmert's offer, which was detailed in the Israeli daily Haaretz Tuesday, included ceding 93 percent of Judea and Samaria (West Bank), all of the Gaza Strip, additional land in the Negev adjacent to Gaza, an agreement on Palestinian "refugees" and other security arrangements between a future Palestinian state and Israel.

Rudeina called the proposal "a waste of time."

Meanwhile, Dani Dayan, head of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, responded to the Palestinian rejection of Olmert's proposal.

"So Israel's security and sovereignty was saved once again by the Palestinians," Dayan said.

"It's outrageous that a man in [Olmert's] position presented such a proposal," he said.

In July 2000, the late Yasser Arafat rejected a similar offer by then Prime Minister Ehud Barak's offer, choosing instead to begin the second intifada two months later in September.

Sources: Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post

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