danny yatom .
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A group of former leaders of security agencies and captains of Israeli industry
will be launching a new peace initiative in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, calling on
the government to make large-scale territorial concessions and reach a solution
to the Palestinian refugee problem in exchange for peace.
The group of
some 40 prominent personalities includes former Mossad head Danny Yatom, former
Shin Bet head Yaakov Perry, former IDF chief Amnon Lipkin- Shahak, former head
of the Shin Bet Ami Ayalon, former Labor Party chief Amram Mitzna, Idan Ofer,
owner of the ZIM shipping company, and Yuval Rabin, son of slain prime minister
The plan has been devised “in light of the dramatic events
in the Middle East” and is aimed at urging the government to “immediately renew
peace talks,” a statement issued by the group said.
According to a
statement they released, they are calling on the Israeli government “to initiate
a regional peace process based on the Arab initiative.”
Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 calls for peace with Israel in exchange for a
total Israeli withdrawal from the land captured in the 1967 war and a “just
settlement” of the Palestinian refugee problem.
This would require Israel
to hand over the West Bank and east Jerusalem to the Palestinians and the Golan
Heights to Syria. It would also include some sort of financial compensation for
Palestinian refugees and allowing a certain number to return to their former
homes in Israel.
According to the statement, “The leaders of the
initiative will present their plan for a new Israeli peace initiative. This
proposed peace initiative will provide a comprehensive response to the Arab
Peace Initiative while maintaining Israel’s vital interests. The plan for this
new peace initiative has been developed during the past several years with the
help of leading Israeli experts. It is based on the experience gained during the
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations of the past decade and on existing peace plans
as well as on new and innovative ideas.”
A group spokesman told Reuters
that the plan urged Israel to agree to Palestinian statehood in Gaza and in
nearly all the West Bank as well as east Jerusalem.
It proposes possible
financial compensation for Palestinian refugees and dividing control over
Jerusalem, with largely Palestinian neighborhoods being put under Palestinian
control while Jewish areas would be governed by Israel.
refugees could be offered compensation, and a small number may be permitted to
return to their former homes in Israel, the spokesman added.
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been shown a copy of the plan but has made no
Reuters contributed to this report.
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