Palestinians ready for dialogue with any future Israeli leader

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki during a preparatory meeting for the GCC, Arab and Islamic summits in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)
Updated 18 September 2019

Palestinians ready for dialogue with any future Israeli leader

  • Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki: Whoever will be able to form a government, we are ready to sit with him or her in order to restart the negotiations
  • The tied vote in Israel raised the prospect of tough negotiations to build a unity government or even the end of Netanyahu’s long rule

OSLO: The Palestinians are prepared to engage in dialogue with any future Israeli leader, Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said Wednesday in Oslo, the day after general elections in Israel ended in deadlock.
“Whoever will be able to form a government, we are ready to sit with him or her in order to restart the negotiations,” Al-Maliki told reporters after the elections ended in a tie between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main challenger Benny Gantz.
Al-Maliki is accompanying Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas on a two-day visit to Oslo.
Their trip comes ahead of a meeting next week in New York of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee of donors to the Palestinians, headed by Norway.
The tied vote in Israel raised the prospect of tough negotiations to build a unity government or even the end of Netanyahu’s long rule.
Sources in Netanyahu’s office told AFP he was canceling a planned trip next week to the UN General Assembly due to the “political context” in Israel.
Al-Maliki on Wednesday reiterated the Palestinian Authority’s insistence on a two-state solution for peace, after Netanyahu’s deeply controversial campaign pledge to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank.
The plan, which would cover around a third of the territory, would not annex Palestinian cities such as Jericho, but they would effectively be surrounded.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the plan would violate international law, with his spokesman saying: “Such steps, if implemented... would be devastating to the potential of reviving negotiations and regional peace, while severely undermining the viability of the two-state solution.”


Beirut hit by massive explosions wounding many and damaging buildings

Updated 51 min 31 sec ago

Beirut hit by massive explosions wounding many and damaging buildings

  • Health minister says very high number of injuries
  • Huge blast followed another explosion and fire at port

BEIRUT: Two massive explosions shook Beirut on Tuesday wounding many people and causing widespread damage.

The afternoon blasts shook several parts of the capital and thick smoke billowed from the city center. Residents reported windows being blown out and a false ceilings dropping.

Lebanon's health minister Hamad Hasan said the explosion caused a "very high number of injuries."

The explosions appeared to be centered around Beirut's port and caused wide scale destruction and shattered windows miles away. The blast followed an initial explosion and fire.

Videos showed the second huge explosion and massive shockwave. People could be heard screaming and running from restaurants and their homes. 

Lebanon’s officials news agency said the incident was due to an explosion in a fireworks warehouse by the port.

*With agencies