"Financial interests are driving Haim Ramon to ask to block the transition to direct talks".
Yesterday, we posted that Haim Ramon (Kadima party chief) met with PA Negotiator Saeb Erekat at the American Colony Hotel and advised him to not go to direct talks with Israel.
According to the article, Ramon stated to Erekat that Shimon Peres and another unnamed third party were behind the request to avoid direct talks.
Anonymous government officials claimed that the unnamed third party is Martin Schlaff.
Martin Schlaff was one of the investors in the Peace Process Casino is Jericho, and is under investigation for questionable transactions involving Ariel Sharon and his sons. He was also involved in the arrangement with the ship from Libya that was trying to go directly to Gaza.
Peres's office has issued official denials that they sent Haim Ramon to meet with the Palestinians or to deliver the July 8th message to not go to direct talks. They added that Peres can and does meet the Palestinians, including Erekat, whenever he wants.
By the way, Shimon Peres and Haim Ramon had lunch together on July 7.
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