Israel has told Middle East power brokers it was ready to
discuss a proposed package on borders with Palestinians to help Western
powers revive stalled peace talks, an official in Jerusalem said on Monday.
official denied reports by Israeli and other media outlets that Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had backed down from an earlier rejection of
US President Barack Obama's proposal to negotiate a pullback to 1967
lines.RELATED:PM: Israel, US working on document regarding 1967 lines
he suggested Netanyahu had signaled a new readiness to aid last-ditch
US and European efforts to renew talks frozen since last year in
anticipation of a Palestinian threat to seek a unilateral United Nations
mandate for statehood in September.
Israeli and Western leaders
have been concerned that any one-sided step could trigger new violence
after months of calm, given the spreading unrest in the Arab world and
recent calls by some Palestinians for protests to accompany any
"In order to restart peace
talks with the Palestinians and facilitate the restarting of direct talks, Israel has been
willing to accept a package that includes a formula on borders," the
official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
package could include borders "that would be difficult for Israel to
accept," the official said, adding that "a part of the package would
mean being recognized as a Jewish state," a demand thus far rejected by
Israel Radio and Channel 2
reported that Netanyahu had agreed to negotiate a possible withdrawal to pre-1967 lines.
The official in Jerusalem responded that Netanyahu "has been clear that Israel will not
return to the 4th of June 1967 borders," or the lines that stood before
Netanyahu told a closed-door session
of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense committee earlier there were "ongoing efforts to restart peace
talks" by Washington and European leaders who had so far failed to find a
formula to do so.
The prime minister said further he was "willing to accept working with
the international community to find a way to make that happen," the
official quoted him as saying.