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Jerusalem - Palestinian, Israeli Officials Clash Over Format Of Washington Peace Talks

Published on: July 29, 2013 07:31 AM
By: Reuters
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File photo of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (r.) speaks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.<br />
Jason Reed/ReutersFile photo of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (r.) speaks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Jason Reed/Reuters

Jerusalem - Israeli and Palestinian officials put forward clashing formats for peace talks due to resume in Washington on Monday for the first time in nearly three years after intense U.S. mediation.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is due to bring the negotiators together in the evening and on Tuesday to renew talks that broke down in 2010 over Israel’s settlement of occupied land where Palestinians seek a state.

Previous attempts to resolve the decades-old conflict had sought to ward off deadlock and the risk of knock-on violence by tackling easier disputes first and deferring the most emotional ones like the fate of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.

This time “all of the issues that are at the core of a permanent accord will be negotiated simultaneously”, Silvan Shalom, a member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu’s cabinet and rightist Likud party, told Israel’s Army Radio.

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The Palestinians, with international backing, want their future state to have borders approximating the boundaries of the West Bank, adjacent East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip before Israel captured them in the 1967 Middle East war.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top official in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s umbrella Palestine Liberation Organisation, said the U.S. letter of invitation to the Washington talks had not specified which disputes were to be discussed.

But Abed Rabbo told Voice of Palestine radio the talks “will begin, in principle, on the issues of borders and security”.

Netanyahu had resisted Abbas’s calls to accept the 1967 border formula before talks resumed. Shalom said that the Israeli position would help keep the talks, which are slated to last nine months, comprehensive.

CONCESSIONS

“Had the matter of borders and territory been given over, what incentive would they (Palestinians) have had to make concessions on the matter of refugees or Jerusalem?” Shalom asked.

Israel deems all of Jerusalem its capital - a status rejected internationally - and wants to keep West Bank settlement blocs under any peace accord. It quit Gaza in 2005 and that enclave is now ruled by Hamas Islamists hostile to the Jewish state and opposed to Abbas’s peace strategy.

Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war at Israel’s founding, along with millions of their descendants, claim the right to return to their original homes in what is now Israel. The Israelis rule that out as demographic suicide, saying the refugees should resettle in a future Palestine or elsewhere.

Netanyahu says any peace accord must safeguard Israel, which has often clashed with Hamas in Gaza and fears the Islamist movement could gain ground in the West Bank. Kerry has also described Israel’s security as “paramount”.

Abed Rabbo said Israel and the United States had been conferring about security without including the Palestinians.

“This is a big shortcoming in the Israeli and the American behavior because they are not discussing their bilateral security, they are discussing a central and a fundamental issue of ours and it concerns our future as a whole,” he said.

After months of intensive and discreet mediation, Kerry announced on July 19 in Amman, Jordan, that the parties had laid the groundwork to resume negotiations on the so-called “final status” issues that must be resolved to end the dispute.

“The meetings in Washington will mark the beginning of these talks,” Kerry spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. “They will serve as an opportunity to develop a procedural work plan for how the parties can proceed with the negotiations in the coming months.”

In what it dubbed a goodwill gesture required to restart diplomacy, the Israeli cabinet on Sunday approved the release of 104 long-serving Palestinian security prisoners in stages. Thousands more Palestinians remain in Israeli jails.


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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 29, 2013 at 08:23 AM Anonymous Says:

I can bet on it.
Within only a few days of the talks it will end. Someone (guess who) will walk out.

2

 Jul 29, 2013 at 08:45 AM Anonymous Says:

When these secular israeli idiots like livni amd lapid give back all of the pre 67 land there will be rockets flying into all the israeli cities. The secular israelis will leave the country and emigrate to other countries. Only chareidim will remain and we will secure israel jewish style. We will free all frum jews from israeli prison and empty the country of all arabs remaining. We will import chinese and others to watch and build our new Torah state.

3

 Jul 29, 2013 at 09:26 AM BarryLS1 Says:

What a waste of time.Nothing will come of this, except, Ch'v, more Jewish deaths.

Obama and Kerry had to put enromous pressure on Netanyahu. He is not that stupid. It's off the wall to negotiate anything with someone who not only doesn't want peace, he has no control of anything. I'd hate to see how Hashem repays the U.S. for this.

4

 Jul 29, 2013 at 11:41 AM sane Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

When these secular israeli idiots like livni amd lapid give back all of the pre 67 land there will be rockets flying into all the israeli cities. The secular israelis will leave the country and emigrate to other countries. Only chareidim will remain and we will secure israel jewish style. We will free all frum jews from israeli prison and empty the country of all arabs remaining. We will import chinese and others to watch and build our new Torah state.

How exactly will you defend this chareidi only country? By burning garbage?

5

 Jul 29, 2013 at 12:19 PM NoMan Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

When these secular israeli idiots like livni amd lapid give back all of the pre 67 land there will be rockets flying into all the israeli cities. The secular israelis will leave the country and emigrate to other countries. Only chareidim will remain and we will secure israel jewish style. We will free all frum jews from israeli prison and empty the country of all arabs remaining. We will import chinese and others to watch and build our new Torah state.

Just curious:
How will you drive out all the remaining Arabs without a properly trained Army?
With what money will you pay the imported Chinese and other foreigners to work, protect and build your Torah state?
I eagerly await your reply...

6

 Jul 29, 2013 at 01:00 PM BarryLS1 Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

When these secular israeli idiots like livni amd lapid give back all of the pre 67 land there will be rockets flying into all the israeli cities. The secular israelis will leave the country and emigrate to other countries. Only chareidim will remain and we will secure israel jewish style. We will free all frum jews from israeli prison and empty the country of all arabs remaining. We will import chinese and others to watch and build our new Torah state.

The Charedi Talaban is destroying, not building anything. Did it ever occur to you that Hashem is using the secularists to rebuild the Land, especially in light that the Chareidim won't lift a finger. Same thing after Golus Bavel, most of the Chareidim of the day didn't return and the Novi chastized them for it..

7

 Jul 29, 2013 at 03:39 PM rebbe123 Says:

Reply to #6  
BarryLS1 Says:

The Charedi Talaban is destroying, not building anything. Did it ever occur to you that Hashem is using the secularists to rebuild the Land, especially in light that the Chareidim won't lift a finger. Same thing after Golus Bavel, most of the Chareidim of the day didn't return and the Novi chastized them for it..

What an idiotic comnent, Hashem needs help from anyone? and if anything he's gonna get help from his BIGGEST enemies? who don't even believe in the existence of God? IF you're normal CAN you please tell me what's crazy?

8

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