Israel says willing to resume peace talks with Palestinians
Israel openly signaled on Tuesday that it is willing to reopen suspended peace talks, using social media to call on Palestinians to do the same.

The Israeli foreign ministry tweeted a message directly to the Palestine Liberation Organization's diplomatic department saying the "ball is in your court" over negotiations.

It followed Netanyahu saying Monday "I've cleared my schedule" for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who in an interview with Israel's Channel 2 television station last week said he would join peace talks if invited by Netanyahu.

Tuesday's tweet prompted a short Twitter exchange between the two departments, with the PLO questioning what exactly Israel was willing to negotiate and the Israeli foreign ministry then asking whether the PLO's question was an excuse to avoid negotiations.

Israel has previously insisted it would only join talks without pre-conditions, but Netanyahu said this week that Palestinians must first end alleged incitement, which Israel claims inspires violence against its citizens.

"For any negotiations to succeed, signed agreements have to be implemented: End settlement activity and release prisoners," said PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat in a message tweeted by the organization's diplomatic department.

Peace talks have been suspended since 2014 when Israel objected to negotiations to form a national unity government between the PLO and Hamas, who run the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Since January, France has been pushing its own initiative to revive the peace process. While Israel has been openly skeptical about the initiative, the PLO said it welcomed any intervention that would help create a Palestinian state based on the borders before Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967.
Last Modified: 2016-04-06 09:05:59
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