Kerry and Netanyahu shake hands at press conference 370.
(photo credit: Noam Moskowitz/Pool)
A senior Palestinian official said the United States was asking
Palestinians to make security concessions in peace talks in order to
silence Israel's criticism of world power's diplomacy on Iran's nuclear
The accusations by Yasser Abed Rabbo, who joined Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry last week, further clouded hopes of achieving a negotiated accord by an April target date.
who is expected to return to the region late this week, presented both
sides with suggestions on Thursday about how Israel might fend off
future threats from a Palestinian state envisaged in the West Bank.
Rabbo told AFP on Monday that the US proposals would lead to the "total failure" of the negotiations with Israel.
ideas will drive Kerry's efforts to an impasse and to total failure
because he is treating our issues with a high degree of indifference,"
Israel has long demanded that under any eventual accord
it retain swathes of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, as well as
military control of the territory's eastern Jordan Valley - effectively,
the prospective Palestine's border with Jordan.
But Abed Rabbo
told Voice of Palestine radio that Kerry had plunged the process into
crisis by seeking to "appease Israel through agreeing to its expansion
demands in the (Jordan) Valley under the pretext of security."
acquiescence to Israel's security demands was aimed at "silencing the
Israelis over the deal with Iran and achieving a fake progress in the
Palestinian-Israeli track at our expense", he said.
was referring to the Nov. 24 interim accord reached in Geneva between
world powers and Iran, whereby it agreed to some curbs on its disputed
nuclear program in exchange for the easing of international sanctions.
Dan Shapiro, the US ambassador to Israel, said on Monday there was no quid pro quo between the Iran and Palestine talks
two issues concern both Israel's security and our security and the
interests of all the Middle East, that it be a more quiet and stable
region. But we do not see any linkage in which we seek to give on one
issue and receive on the other," Shapiro told Israel's Army Radio.STRAINED TIES
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu initially condemned Geneva as an "historic mistake"
that risked helping Iran's limping economy, while leaving it with the
means to make a nuclear bomb. Iran says its nuclear drive is peaceful.
Geneva deal further strained the Netanyahu government's ties with the
Obama administration, which is mindful of support for Israel in the US
Congress, though Netanyahu struck a more conciliatory tone last week.
has not commented on the US proposals but cabinet minister Yaakov Peri
said on Sunday the government had not yet agreed to them.
deep Palestinian pessimism over prospects for a deal, many Israelis also
question whether Abbas would be able to keep his armed Islamist Hamas
rivals, who rule the Gaza Strip and spurn coexistence with the Jewish
state, to an eventual accord.
Shapiro said Gaza's government would have to change for Palestinian statehood to be fully realized.
are talking about two states for two peoples. The Palestinian state
will also include Gaza. But there has to be a change to the regime
there. That is clear."