In an interview broadcast by Israel’s Channel 10 this week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas publicly confirmed for the first time that he turned down a peace offer proposed by then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008.
Olmert and other Palestinian leaders have previously confirmed that Abbas rejected peace proposals during the peace talks of September 2008.
The peace offer would have provided for an independent Palestinian state containing all of the Gaza Strip, much of the West Bank (with land swaps), and a tunnel connecting the two areas.
Abbas was presented with a map depicting the delineated borders of a future State of Palestine but he rejected it during the talks. During the interview, Channel Ten reporter Raviv Drucker asked Abbas: “In the map that Olmert presented you, Israel would annex 6.3 percent [of the West Bank] and compensate the Palestinians with 5.8 percent [taken from pre-1967 Israel]. What did you propose in return?”
Abbas replied: “I did not agree. I rejected it out of hand”.
Channel 10 has been broadcasting a three-part series on the peace talks of 2000 and 2008. The full interview with Abbas can be found here.