The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has reiterated his offer to restart peace talks with Israel. Abbas suggests talks start immediately after the vote at the UN on observer state recognition for the Palestinians later this month.
He told a meeting of foreign ministers at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo that he is ready to begin talks the day after the vote on non-member observer status at the UN General Assembly.
However, standing beside a rocket military officials say was seized before it could be fired on Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on the defensive: “This is not merely our right, it’s also our duty and it’s something that I think is understood by any fair-minded person in any fair-minded government in the world, that it’s a right to defend our people”.
The Abbas olive branch comes at a time of increasing rocket attacks on southern Israel from the Gaza Strip. The military say 110 have crossed the border since Saturday, increasing pressure on leaders for a forceful response.