Diplomacy

U.S. Envoy in Middle East Seeks to Facilitate Talks between Israel, Palestinians

United States President Donald Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, will return to Israel on Monday amid Arabic media reports about a new peace plan.

A senior White House official said that Greenblatt and his family planned to visit Israel on a private holiday, adding that Greenblatt would take the opportunity to hold meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to advance the peace process.

According to U.S. and Palestinian sources, Trump told both Abbas and Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly last week that he was confident peace could be achieve between the two sides.

The London-based newspaper Al-Arabi al-Jadeed, which has close ties to Qatar, reported Sunday that the U.S. peace plan will include a Palestinian state with gradual borders—thought to include all of the territory under the Palestinian Authority’s control in the West Bank—and a special clause that addresses the return of Palestinian refugees upon the establishment of the state.

Israel says the U.S. administration has yet to present a concrete plan for jumpstarting negotiations with the Palestinians.

A senior Palestinian official told Israel Hayom that Ramallah was unfamiliar with the details of the new peace plan being reported, before clarifying that “the Palestinians will object to any peace plan that presents a temporary solution, rather than a solution that includes a permanent status agreement and a predetermined timetable for ending the occupation”.

During yesterday’s Security Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu proposed a package of civil and economic measures in the West Bank that included widening the access road to Rawabi and building a new industrial zone in Tulkarm. Trump requested Israel devise such a package when he visited in May.

(via BICOM)

[Photo: BICOM]