The unity of Jerusalem is important and Palestinians can not have a right of
return into Israel in any final status agreement for a two-state solution, Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday morning.
ascribe importance to the unity of Jerusalem and, of course, to the cancellation
of the right of return,” Netanyahu said.
He spoke on the same day that
Channel 2 provided information which it said was leaked from the ongoing talks
between Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb
Erekat, which showed that both sides were far apart in their demands.
a final-status negotiation the Palestinians have insisted Palestinian refugees
should have the choice to return to Israel, Channel 2 said.
It added that
Palestinians were only interested in a territorial exchange of not more than
Both sides have agreed not to divulge the contents of the
negotiations which began in July and are set to end in March. US Secretary of
State John Kerry has said that during the nine-month negotiating process he is
the only one authorized to release information.
According to Channel 2,
the Palestinians have asked that Israel recognize Palestine as a state under
occupation already now and provide a secure link to the Gaza
Israel would need to withdraw from the West Bank over three years
and a peace deal would be signed only six months after such cessation, according
to Channel 2.
In addition Palestinians would receive the release of all
prisoners in Israeli jails, control of border crossings and a section of the
Dead Sea, according to Channel 2.
Palestinians want the ability to
conduct bilateral relations and sign agreements without Israel’s involvement,
Channel 2 said.
It added that Israel has offered the Palestinians
financial compensation in exchange for retaining some of the settlement blocs,
in addition to the principle of land swaps. Israel also wants to maintain an IDF
presence along the Jordan border, Channel 2 said.
Israel would accept a
contiguous Palestinian state, Channel 2 said.
In the morning at the
cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said, “We want to reach a peace agreement with the
Palestinians. In this agreement, we will insist on the vital interests of the
State of Israel, first of all security, of course, and including our ability to
continue defending our eastern border.”
He clarified that in a
final-status agreement the Palestinians would have to renounce all national
claims and recognize the State of Israel as the homeland for the Jewish
“We are demanding from them that at the end of the negotiations,
they will renounce all their claims, including national claims, and that they
recognize the national rights of the Jewish people in the State of Israel,”
Netanyahu said. “[Recognizing] Israel as our national state is an integral part
of their recognition that there are no national demands and no national rights
in the State of Israel.”