The Palestinian Authority rejecting peace, once again:
The Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki has informed US Secretary
of State John Kerry that the Palestinians will not accept his framework peace proposal as it
currently stands, PA officials told The Times of Israel.
The officials claimed that the Obama administration’s current proposal, which is intended to serve as the basis for continued talks on a two-state solution, includes pretty much everything Israel demanded — almost down to the last detail — but does not address vital requirements from the Palestinian side. (Israeli officials have voiced numerous objections of their own to the reported terms, with Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon quoted as describing the security aspect of the document, for instance, as “not worth the paper it’s printed on.”)
The Palestinian officials detailed to The Times of Israel what they said were the main clauses of the framework proposal.
Peace talks resumed last July and are due to end in April unless Kerry can persuade the two sides to continue negotiations.
Israeli officials have indicated that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is inclined to accept the framework terms, on the basis that they are non-binding and that he can express objections to them, though this has not been confirmed. Netanyahu is to meet with President Barack Obama in Washington on March 3.
Central clauses of the framework deal as presented by Kerry, and rejected by the PA, the Palestinian officials said, are as follows:
Borders: The peace agreement is to be based on pre-1967 lines, but will take into consideration changes on the ground in the decades since.
Settlements: There will be no massive evacuation of “residents.”
Refugees: Palestinian refugees will be able to return to Palestine or remain where they currently live. In addition, it is possible that a limited number of refugees could be allowed into pre-1967 Israel as a humanitarian gesture, and only with Israeli acquiescence. Nowhere is it written that Israel bears responsibility for suffering caused to the refugees.
Capital: The Palestinian capital will be in Jerusalem.
Security: Israel has the right to defend itself, by itself.
The Jordan Valley: The IDF will retain a presence in the Jordan Valley. The length of time the IDF will remain will depend on the abilities of the Palestinian security forces.
Border crossings: Israel will continue to control border crossings into Jordan.
Definition of the countries: Two states will result, “a national state of the Jewish people and a national state of the Palestinian people.”