Netanyahu responds to Palestinian letter - Yahoo! News RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Israel and the Palestinian Authority issued a rare joint statement on Saturday, saying they were committed to peace after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dispatched an envoy to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The envoy carried a letter from Netanyahu replying to one he received last month from Abbas, in which the Palestinian leader stated his grievances over the collapse of peace talks in 2010 and laid out his parameters for a resumption of negotiations. Details of Netanyahu's letter were not released, but Israeli officials said last week that they did not expect him to accept a key Palestinian demand to halt all settlement building in the occupied territories before reopening any talks. Netanyahu's office issued a joint statement with the Palestinians after envoy Isaac Molcho met Abbas in Ramallah -- the Palestinian Authority's administrative capital. "Israel and the Palestinian Authority are committed to achieving peace and the sides hope that the exchange of letters between President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu will further this goal," the statement said. Abbas's letter had demanded a halt to Israeli settlement construction on West Bank land captured in the 1967 Middle East war and accused Israel of showing a lack of commitment to the decades-old peace process, officials said. Netanyahu has repeatedly called on Abbas to return to talks without any pre-conditions and promised that Israel was ready to make concessions, if the Palestinians would also compromise.