News / Middle East

Reports: US to Propose Israel Settlement Compromise

US special envoy George Mitchell (file photo)
US special envoy George Mitchell (file photo)

Multimedia

Audio
  • Interview with Gideon Lichfield, Deputy Online Editor fo the Economist

U.S. envoy George Mitchell is set to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday - reportedly to discuss a U.S. proposal that Israel extend a partial West Bank settlement freeze for 60 days in exchange for security assurances and other guarantees.

U.S. and Israeli media reports, citing sources close to the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, say senior American officials have already briefed Israeli leaders on the proposal - including the prime minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Mitchell will also meet separately this week with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other Arab leaders in the region on an urgent mission to keep the peace talks going.

Gideon Lichfield, Deputy Online Editor of the Economist, discusses how the Arab world views the situation in the Middle East:

Mitchell's visit comes as Israel has resumed settlement construction in the West Bank, prompting Mr. Abbas to threaten a walkout.

The Palestinian leader says he will decide whether to quit the talks after consulting senior Arab officials next week.  However, he says if settlement construction continues, Palestinians will be obliged to end their participation.

Mr. Netanyahu says he will meet with Mr. Abbas in Paris, next month.  A statement from the prime minister's office says the meeting resulted from an invitation extended by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.  

No specific date in October is mentioned.  However, the statement quotes Mr. Netanyahu as saying it is "essential" that his "good talks" with Mr. Abbas continue.

Palestinian officials have called on Israel to re-impose the freeze on construction for three or four more months.  The freeze expired late Sunday.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the United States is frustrated that the settlement dispute is holding up negotiations, but is convinced the parties involved can overcome the challenge.

Meanwhile, tt the United Nations Tuesday, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that when final borders are drawn, they must reflect the demographic realities on the ground.  Lieberman said a "mismatch between borders and nationalities is a recipe for conflict."

The Israeli foreign minister has proposed redrawing borders to place some Arab citizens under Palestinian jurisdiction, while keeping hold of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Mr. Netanyahu's office objected to Lieberman's address, saying the prime minister is heading negotiations and that issues related to the peace process will be decided at the negotiating table, not anywhere else.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid