Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) While outwardly looking positive
and accommodating, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are in fact in
disagreement over when to bring up core issues such as borders and security,
with the Palestinians wanting to talk about borders first, and the Israelis wanting
all topics to be discussed at the same time, senior Palestine Liberation
Organization official Yasser Abed Rabbo said Wednesday.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat address reporters on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on July 30, 2013. Credit: State Department.
Speaking on the Voice of Palestine radio station, Abed Rabbo said that from the
Palestinian perspective, the Israeli demand to talk about all the issues at the
same time could be seen as an attempt to thwart a deal. He added that the
Palestinian Authority informed the Americans that Israeli construction beyond
the pre-1967 lines would doom the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations.
Israeli officials in Washington said on Tuesday
that the venue for talks from now on would alternate between Jerusalem and
Ramallah. A date for the next meeting has yet to be set, but once underway, the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations are expected to be intensive and deal
with core issues. General outlines will be formulated on each issue, after
which professional teams from both sides will go into the details. Palestinian
sources said talks would focus first on technical issues. The borders of the
future Palestinian state and security arrangements that Israel is requesting
won’t be discussed during the initial stage, sources said.
Speaking on Israel
Radio on Wednesday, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who has been briefed on
the talks, said Israel’s position is that the talks are about the two-state
solution, with land swaps. “We are talking about two states and the settlement
blocs. Ariel, Gush Etzion, Maaleh Adumim are part of Israel and the
Palestinians are going to have to come to terms with that,” Lapid said.