Kerry Offers P.A. 'Incentives' to Restart Peace Talks

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Secretary of State John Kerry began his second visit to Israel Sunday afternoon in Ramallah, where he reportedly offered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas incentives to restart negotiations with Israel, the P.A.'s official Ma'an News Agency reported Sunday.

According to the report, Kerry offered the following incentives:
· Ensure Israel will not withhold future tax revenues
· Extend P.A. jurisdiction in Area C, which is currently under full Israeli sovereignty under the terms of the Oslo Accords.
· Allow Palestinians to build "more freely" in Area C

Abbas also reportedly demanded the release of all Palestinian prisoners engaging in hunger strikes.

In an interview Saturday with Agence France Presse, P.A. Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said the Obama administration is fully aware of their position.

"This meeting was called by Kerry and President Abbas will meet him to see what he has because the United States knows our position clearly," al-Malki reportedly told AFP.

Meanwhile, Ma'an says Abbas told President Obama last month there would be no return to negotiations without a "settlement freeze." He also reportedly said Netanyahu must present a map showing the final borders of a future state before talks can resume.

"Any return to negotiations requires Netanyahu to agree on 1967 borders," Abbas political adviser Nimr Hammad told AFP.

Netanyahu has made it clear on numerous occasions Israel would never return to the indefensible 1948 armistice lines, which the P.A. calls the "1967 borders."

On Monday morning, Kerry attended Holocaust Memorial Day Services at Yad VaShem in Jerusalem before beginning a series of meetings ending with President Shimon Peres.

On Tuesday morning, Kerry and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold a two-hour meeting at the prime minister's Jerusalem residence.

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