News / Middle East

    Israel, Palestinians Set Down Guidelines for Peace Talks

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, July 21, 2013.
    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, July 21, 2013.
    Robert Berger
    Israel and the Palestinians are setting down guidelines for new peace talks brokered by the United States.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the expected resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians after a four-year stalemate.

    Speaking at the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said negotiations with the Palestinians are a “vital strategic interest” of Israel.

    He said the talks will be difficult and any final agreement would be brought to a national referendum.

    Israeli and Palestinian chief negotiators are due to meet in Washington soon with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who on Friday announced an agreement had been reached establishing a basis for the resumption of direct final status negotiations.  The officials will try to hammer out the framework for resumed peace talks, but disagreements have already emerged over the borders of a future Palestinian state.

    The Palestinians say they have received written guarantees from Kerry that negotiations will be based on borders that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.  

    Palestinian spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh says Israel must withdraw from territories it captured in 1967, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    Abu Rudeineh said that Secretary Kerry understands the Palestinian position, which is the end of the Israeli occupation and a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders.

    But Israel says the ’67 lines are indefensible.

    Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said Israel has not and will not make any commitments on the 1967 borders.

    Israel’s longstanding position is that it will keep major Jewish settlements in the West Bank in any final peace agreement, and that it will never withdraw from East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City and Judaism’s holiest sites.   

    So the planned new peace talks face major obstacles on the thorniest issues of the conflict, including borders, Jerusalem, Jewish settlements and Palestinian refugees.

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    Comments
         
    by: rbockman from: Philly
    July 21, 2013 10:49 PM
    There will be peace when the Arabs decide they want peace, not until then.

    by: JohnWV from: USA
    July 21, 2013 10:39 AM
    Israel's Mideast malevolence is a purposeful sideshow. It enables the ever increasing Israeli/Jewish control of America's government, finances and military-industrial complex. The Jewish state has occupied not just Palestine, but America too. Our democracy is being methodically destroyed from within and our country transformed into a world dominating racist ultrapower, the JEWISH STATE OF AMERICA.

    by: JohnWV from: USA
    July 21, 2013 7:14 AM
    Israel's Mideast malevolence is a purposeful sideshow. It enables the ever increasing Israeli/Jewish control of America's government, finances and military-industrial complex. The Jewish state has occupied not just Palestine, but America too. Our democracy is being methodically destroyed from within and our country transformed into a world dominating racist ultrapower, the JEWISH STATE OF AMERICA.

    by: Louis Clavelli from: Massachusetts
    July 21, 2013 7:07 AM
    The US is trying to induce the Palestinians to accept Israeli occupation by holding out an economic carrot while it prevents any real peace by vetoing even the most mild criticism of Israel in the UN.

    by: Dr. A. H. from: Texas
    July 21, 2013 6:50 AM
    if this guy hopes to have an Arab liberal democracy side by side his little country... he is delusional... he liberates hundreds of Palestinian terrorists and hope for what exactly...?? that they will see the errors of their ways...?? if we liberate the terrorists of Gitmo - will they suddenly become good Christians...??

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