The 21-point document Israel gave the Palestinians in Amman this week dealt with
general principles of what will be needed to reach a final agreement, not with
detailed Israeli proposals, Western diplomatic officials said on
The document was presented on Tuesday to Palestinian Authority
negotiator Saeb Erekat by Yitzhak Molcho, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s
Fatah official slams Amman negotiations
Barak: Negotiations can prevent Israeli isolation
Molcho was accompanied at the meeting by Daniel Taub,
Israel’s ambassador to London, who was involved in the talks with the
Palestinians in August to September 2010, and Netanyahu’s communications
director, Yoaz Hendel.
The officials said the topics on the list are
among the issues expected to be discussed at a follow-up meeting in Amman on
That meeting will still be held at the level of negotiators, and
no meeting between Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas has yet been set
Netanyahu, according to Israeli sources, wants a meeting with Abbas,
since he is aware that if the negotiation process is to succeed, decisions are
going to have to be made at the highest levels.
presented Israel on Tuesday with their proposal on borders and security, which
calls for a full Israeli return to the 1967 lines, except for a 1.9 percent land
swap. Israel refused to accept this proposal when the Palestinians presented it to the Quartet in November for
delivery to the Israeli side, demanding that it be presented during direct
While Israeli officials refused to provide specifics about
Israel’s document, the London-based pan- Arabic daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported
Wednesday that it included a refusal to accept Palestinian refugees in
accordance with UN resolution 194 that stated that “refugees wishing to return
to their homes” should be willing to do so.
The paper also said the 21
points included a refusal to withdraw from all the settlements; a security
presence in the Jordan Valley; that the Palestinian state not be allowed to
forge alliances with countries hostile to Israel; the continued presence of IDF
forces at strategic West Bank sites; and an implementation of the agreement
gradually over a number of years.
Israel emphatically denied on Thursday
the paper’s claim that it expressed willingness during talks with the
Palestinians in Jordan earlier this week to withdraw from some Arab
neighborhoods of east Jerusalem.
“It never happened,” a senior diplomatic
source said. The document, according to officials, is just a rough outline of
issues that need to be discussed, and did not present in any detail Israel’s
position on the matters.
The report quoted Nimmer Hammed, an adviser to
Abbas, saying the Palestinians will give their response to the outline when the
two sides meet again.
A State Department spokeswoman said on Thursday
that Washington was encouraged by the first round of talks between Israel and
“We are encouraged that they are both coming to the
table, they are talking directly,” spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters in
her daily briefing.
The Quartet on September 23 called for the two sides
to resume talks with the aim of reaching a peace agreement by the end of
Reuters contributed to this report.