Palestinians immediately rejected U.S. ‘security proposal’ for Israel

The American security plan would ‘lead to prolonging & maintaining the occupation,’ unnamed Arab official explained.

By Reuters

 

 

The Palestinian Authority rejected ideas raised by visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday for security arrangements under a possible future peace accord with Israel, a Palestinian official said.

Abbas and Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, speaks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. – Photo: AP

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity and declined to elaborate on the proposals, said Kerry presented them to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after discussing them separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The Palestinian side rejected them because they would only lead to prolonging and maintaining the occupation,” the official said, referring to Israel’s hold on the West Bank, among territories where Palestinians seek statehood.

Earlier Thursday, Kerry said he believed “some progress” was being made in the Israeli-Palestinian talks, telling reporters following a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “we have always known that this is a difficult, complicated road.”

General John Allen, the U.S. envoy to the peace process, presented Netanyahu during the meeting with what Kerry called “thoughts” regarding possible security arrangements in the West Bank in a final status agreement.

In his remarks to the press, Kerry reiterated the U.S. “deep commitment” to Israel’s security, saying: “We want an agreement that recognizes Israel as country that can defend itself by itself.” The secretary of state will meet Netanyahu again for dinner in Jerusalem and also Friday morning to continue the discussion on the U.S. security plan.

Netanyahu told reporters that Israel was ready for historic peace with the Palestinians based on two states for two people, adding that “in any agreement with the Palestinians, Israel must have the ability to defend itself by itself and with our own forces, adding: “We continue to honor all commitment reached in prior negotiations.”

 

View original HAARETZ publication at: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.562007

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