Israeli and Palestinian officials are scheduled to meet in Amman on Monday for
the second time in a week, though Palestinian officials say the gap between the
two sides on security and border issues remains as wide as ever.
the meeting last Tuesday, this time representatives of the Quartet – the US, EU,
Russia and UN – will not be in attendance. Jordan will host the talks at the
Foreign Ministry in Amman.
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Palestinian officials in Ramallah said they
did not expect Monday’s meeting between chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat and
Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molcho to achieve a breakthrough in the current
PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo characterized the
talks in Jordan as only “exploratory meetings” and not serious
“Israel does not want serious negotiations,” Abed Rabbo
charged. “The Israelis continue to reject the two-state solution and insist on
pursuing construction in the settlements, especially in
Israeli officials, who said Jerusalem “wanted the process to
succeed,” said other meetings were already planned after Monday’s
The officials refused, however, to discuss anything
substantive about the meetings, saying they would only succeed if conducted
without information leaking to the media.
Abed Rabbo said that if no
progress was achieved by January 26, the Palestinian Authority would resume its
efforts to gain Palestinian membership in the UN.
Last autumn the Quartet
gave Israelis and Palestinians three months to present comprehensive proposals
on security and border issues. That deadline expires on January 26.
last week’s meeting, the first between the sides since September 2010, the
Palestinians presented Israel with their proposal on borders and security, which
calls for a full Israeli return to the June 4, 1967, lines, except for a 1.9
percent land swap.
Israel, in turn, gave the Palestinians a 21-point
document outlining the general principles it believes will need to be dealt with
to reach an agreement. Israel’s position is that its comprehensive proposal on
security and borders will be produced at the end of three months of negotiation,
not the beginning.
Palestinian officials said Molcho presented Israel’s
response to the PA’s proposals regarding security and borders
Wasel Abu Yusef, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said on
Sunday that there was “nothing new” in the Israeli response.
claimed that these were the same ideas that had been presented by Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu to PA President Mahmoud Abbas in 2010.
position basically seeks to hinder the establishment of a Palestinian state,”
the PLO official said. “Israel wants to maintain control over the borders and
strategic areas in the West Bank. Israel is also refusing to consider east
Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state.”
Abu Wasel said
that the PA position on security and borders remained clear and unchanged,
namely that a Palestinian state be established on all the territories (excluding
the Golan and Sinai) captured by Israel in 1967, including east
“The talks in Amman won’t lead to any results and will evolve
in a vicious cycle,” he said. “The Palestinian leadership sees no point in
pursuing the Amman talks, which only serve to help the Netanyahu government
create the false impression that it wants peace.”
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