New Talks Proposed by Israel and US to Stop UN Bid by Palestinians

02.08.2011 - Jerusalem - Palestine News Network

An Israeli government official said on Tuesday that his country would be willing to begin new peace talks with the 1967 Green Line as a basis for negotiations on the condition that the Palestinians drop their United Nations membership bid.

The official, speaking anonymously, told the Agence France-Presse (AFP), “Over the last few weeks there has been an ongoing attempt to restart the peace process to allow for the resumption of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians.”

“The assumption is that if this process succeeds, the Palestinians will withdraw their proposal for unilateral action at the UN.”

The official confirmed that Israel along with Washington and members of the international peace-making Quartet have been attempting to put together a new framework that could relaunch stalled talks.

The hope is that this package of principles will draw the Palestinians back to the negotiating table and deter their plan to seek UN membership for a Palestinian state on the lines that existed before the June War of 1967.

Israeli media first reported on Monday night the framework negotiations and were confirmed to AFP Tuesday morning.

The framework being considered is based on a speech made by US President Barack Obama to the lobbying group AIPAC earlier this year.

Obama had called for in the speech negotiations “based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps,” with a final deal to take account of “new demographic realities.”

“The ultimate goal is two states for two people: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people.”

“That is the sort of language that we can live with,” the Israeli official told AFP.

The Jerusalem Post newspaper reported that on Monday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed a closed-door meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee that “we are interacting with the US to put together a document using language from Obama’s second speech” to AIPAC.

Talks between Israel and the Palestinians were suspended in 2010 over Israeli settlement construction.

Israel did not renew a partial settlement freeze which expired shortly after the talks began, and the Palestinians decided that they would not negotiate while Israel builds on land they want for a future state.

The Palestinians then decided on their UN membership push come this September.

While Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has insisted that the plan will not rule out new peace talks, he said the Palestinians will come back to the negotiating table only if Israel freezes settlement construction and a clear set of parameters for any new talks can be agreed upon first.

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