Palestinian officials said Friday that Israel’s presentation of its ideas for
border and security arrangements of a future Palestinian state at a meeting in
Amman on Wednesday was a nonstarter, envisaging a fenced-off territory of
cantons that would preserve most Jewish settlements.
Israel’s envoy to
the talks, Yitzhak Molcho, outlined the principles and parameters Wednesday
night for the Palestinians that will guide Israel’s policy on border issues, an
Israeli government official said. According to the official, Molcho did not draw
a line on a map, but rather spoke in general principles about what Israel would
take into consideration when drawing that line.
“He killed the two-state
solution, set aside previous agreements and international law,” PLO source said
of Molcho’s presentation. “Basically, the Israeli idea of a Palestinian state is
made up of a wall and settlements.”
An Israeli official said the
presentation was in line with a framework for talks set by the Quartet – the
United States, European Union, Russia and the United Nations.
Its aim is
to ensure that the core issues of borders and security were clearly set out by
January 26, with the goal of relaunching negotiations stalled since November
2010, to reach a framework peace accord by the end of this year.
five rounds of talks in Jordan, including Wednesday’s session, the Palestinian
source said there are no more meetings scheduled. Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas has said he wants to consult Arab League states on the
According to the Palestinian source, Molcho’s team suggested
that any solution creating a Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel
needs to “preserve the social and economic fabric of all communities, Jewish or
The idea presented by Molcho “does not include Jerusalem
and the Jordan Valley, and includes almost all [Jewish] settlements,” the
Palestinian official said.
An Israeli official said Molcho presented
guiding principles that determine Israel’s positions on the territorial
Israel’s approach to territorial compromise in the West Bank
includes the principle that “most Israelis will be under Israeli sovereignty and
obviously most Palestinians will be under Palestinian sovereignty,” the official
He noted that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had acknowledged,
in a speech to the US Congress, that not all Jewish settlements “will be on our
side of the border” of a future Palestinian state.
“We think it is very
important that these talks continue. They are only at a preliminary stage, but
they contain potential and obviously in less than a month it would have been
illogical to talk about a breakthrough,” he said.
“But in many ways the
talks are progressing better than expected and it would indeed be a pity to
bring about a premature ending of this process.”
“The Israelis brought nothing new in these meetings,” said one
official familiar with the talks.
Peace negotiations foundered in late
2010 over a Palestinian demand that Israel suspend settlement building in the
West Bank and east Jerusalem.