RAMALLAH, November 9 (JMCC) - Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas
was prepared to strike a deal with then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
, reports former US President George W. Bush in his memoir to be released Tuesday.
“We devised a process to turn [Olmert’s] private offer into a public agreement,” Bush writes of the secret peace deal worked out between the then-prime minister of Israel and Palestinian Authority president. “Olmert would travel to Washington and deposit his proposal with me. Abbas would announce that the plan was in line with Palestinian interests. I would call the leaders together to finalize the deal.” Read
That agreement was to include handing over the “vast majority” of the West Bank to the Palestinians, building a tunnel to connect it to the Gaza Strip, allowing a “limited number” of Palestinian refugees into Israel, establishing Jerusalem as a joint capital and entrusting control of the holy sites to “a panel of nonpolitical elders.”
But then Olmert was forced to resign his premiership because of corruption allegations, and Abbas “didn’t want to make an agreement with a prime minister on his way out of office,” Bush relates.
the story at the Jerusalem Post...