Israeli press claims Palestinian leader Abbas 'has decided to sign peace deal'

Abbas travelled to Washington to meet US President Donald Trump

Mahmoud Abbas seen during his meeting with Donald Trump at the White House

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Israeli press is claiming that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to sign a peace deal.

The Jerusalem Post, citing sources close to the ongoing dialogue between the two sides, claim Abbas has voiced "unprecedented" readiness to reach an agreement with his Israeli counterparts.

The sources claim Abbas communicated this willingness to Donald Trump during their meeting at the White House last week.

Trump is to visit Israel later this week and will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with analysts suggesting the US President will demand assurances that Israel is committed to a peace deal.

If Abbas and Netanyahu do reach a deal it could signal an end to the tension and sniping between the Israeli and Palestinian sides, which has continued practically unabated ever since the state of Israel declared its independence after the Second World War.

This tension has regularly erupted into conflict, most recently the Gaza War of 2014 which brought international criticism upon Israel.

A deal would also be a major feather in the cap for Trump, who has made solving the Israel-Palestinian puzzle a major objective of his Presidency.