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Kerry security proposals will cause 'total failure' of talks
Published Monday 09/12/2013 (updated) 10/12/2013 17:33
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US Secretary of State John Kerry delivers the keynote address at
the 10th anniversary Saban Forum in Washington on December 7,
2013.(AFP/File Nicholas Kamm)
RAMALLAH (AFP) -- US proposals on security presented by Secretary of State John Kerry will lead to the "total failure" of peace talks with Israel, a senior PLO official told AFP on Monday.

"These ideas will drive Kerry's efforts to an impasse and to total failure because he is treating our issues with a high degree of indifference," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top official with the Palestine Liberation Organization, referring to the US diplomat's proposals on future security arrangements in the Jordan Valley.

His remarks were made just days after Kerry's latest visit to the region, which focused squarely on Israel's security needs in any future peace deal.

Proposals laid out by Kerry and his security adviser General John Allen were reportedly welcomed by the Israelis but were coldly dismissed by the Palestinians, with one official describing them as "very bad ideas which we cannot accept".

Commentators said the proposals would allow Israel to maintain a military presence in the Jordan Valley, which runs down the eastern flank of the West Bank, in a move completely rejected by the Palestinians who claim it would make a mockery of their sovereignty and merely perpetuate the occupation.

"(Kerry) only wants to win over the Israelis and (allow) settlement expansion at our expense," Abed Rabbo charged.

Last Thursday, Israel's deputy defense minister Danny Danon ruled out the possibility of removing Israeli settlers and military forces from the Jordan Valley, which forms over a third of the occupied West Bank.

Danon also ruled out the possibility of having a Palestinian presence at border crossings with Jordan.

Officials warn against delay to prisoner release

Meanwhile, Palestinian officials have warned against any delay to releasing a third group of Palestinian prisoners after Israeli media reports suggested the next stage could be postponed by a month.

Israeli daily Maariv said Monday that US Secretary of State John Kerry intended to delay the third release of prisoners to pressure the PA to accept proposed security arrangements.

"Not releasing the third group of prisoners will be considered a strike to the peace process and a mockery to the negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis," PA minister of prisoners Issa Qaraqe said.

Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah also criticized the reports and said the PA would never accept any such delay, while Abed Rabbo said Israel must implement the agreement.

"We completely reject any postponement in releasing the third batch of prisoners who should be freed on December 29," Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told AFP by phone from Washington.

The second group of 26 prisoners was released from Israeli jails on Oct. 30 as part of a four-stage deal agreed upon in July which would see 104 prisoners set free.

Israel announced plans for 1,500 settler homes in the East Jerusalem settlement of Ramat Shlomo immediately following the second release, having already announced plans for more than 2,000 new settler homes in tandem with the first release in August.

Addameer prisoner rights group said in October that Israel must release all Palestinian prisoners as a precondition for peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.

Over 1,100 Palestinians have been detained since US Secretary of State John Kerry announced a return to peace talks in July, including the arrest of students and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, the group says.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report
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1 ) Rondo Mondo / Canada
09/12/2013 15:04
Jordan prefers an Israeli presence on the border with Jordan. It is a matter of security for Jordan, Israel and Palestine that no foreign Jihadist forces can use the West Bank as a jumping off point for attacks against Israel, Jordan or the PA. In Gaza the jihadists exported their arms and aims to the Sinai and look where that got Gaza. Palestinians should come to their senses and stop rejecting realistic proposals from the Americans and Israelis.

2 ) Mark / UK
09/12/2013 15:37
I think Rondo Mondo is missing the point. It is totally ridiculous to accept Israeli forces patrolling the Palestinian border with Jordan. For a start, that border has got nothing to do with Israel. Israel is quite capable of securing its borders with Palestine. Israel is just coming up with bizarre and unworkable suggestions to make it look like the PA isn't playing ball. What has been suggested would be like China manning all of the US's borders - pure fantasy

3 ) Rafael / USA
09/12/2013 15:43
Reality is the PLO can not have everything it desires. So if it does not compromise and accept a Jewish State with no right of return, and accommodations for Israeli security their will be no Palestinian state on the ground. This is the real world choice.

4 ) William Wallace / Scotland
09/12/2013 15:58
If a Palestinian state is to function autonomously, it should be able to defend its borders with its own Palestinian military presence. If Jordan wants a security presence (as does Israel), which is understandable in the current climate, then such a presence needs to be negotiated between all three parties. A joint security operation would be best, with collaboration on all sides. Abbas cannot have a Palestine without legitimate armed forces to protect it. He could redeploy existing factions....

5 ) border is between palestine & / USA
09/12/2013 18:13
Jordan...the zionazi need to get their thieving tushi's out

6 ) jesse / usa
09/12/2013 18:21
So the PA wants everything still. will not negotiate about anything. considers the talks a failure already, butr " wants no delay in the release of murderers". gimme gimme gimme mentality

7 ) Ali / Palestine
09/12/2013 18:21
Rondo, so our Jordanian brothers want those white racist terrorist Zionists, who have butchered tens of thousands of Arabs, on their borders with Palestine ? !! ? Really ;-) Actually, those racist terrorist Zionists should come to their "human" senses before humanity puts and end to this white colonial project called IsraHell. Rafi,' the real world choice' is in our hands not in the hands of those white racist terrorist who support IsraHell. A question of time. Read the history of colonization !

8 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
09/12/2013 18:29
The problem is deeper than the Jordan Valley and has to do with the Palestinians being unable to sign a treaty for the west bank only. Hamas is not interested in peace, and no Fatah leader will sign a peace treaty to create Palestine in the wb only. Kerry still hasn't bothered explaining to anybody how the Hamas problem is to be overcome.

9 ) Johnny benson / USA
09/12/2013 19:05
Think of the history ...Muslim states can not be trusted to keep any bargain...it's in the Koran ...going back on deals is all over it..also how can one trust that new leaders will keep any arrangement....also Israel s no angel here either....it's all hopeless...

10 ) cheruv / Naija
09/12/2013 19:53
Mark isn't being realistic here..aww can china control amerika's borders??you ddnt even mention senegal controlling the gambia's or ukraina controlling moldova's..the palestinians aren't ready for a state as per now so Israel should annex Emeq HaYarden & lands west of the separation barrier and declare the rest up for grabs lemme why they shouldn't get their sorry asses to the table

11 ) Tibi / Tubas
09/12/2013 21:40
It is not fair, but the reality is that Palestinians accept either:
1- "the Security Proposals" (borders, capital, refugees, etc.) all for Israel, or
2- accept the "Total Failure" to create a real state for Palestinians !!

Pretending the UN can make Palestine a real state is delusional
(unless Israel agrees, see option 1), so the only other option is
3- war/intidfada, and Palestinians already know they would lose,
and badly again, or they would have already tried that already !!!

12 ) Rondo Mondo / Canada
09/12/2013 22:09
William, the Palestinian state will be de-militarized which means it will have no army to defend its frontier with Jordan. Abbas has many times agreed that Palestine will have no army. Alon proposed keeping a strip of land in the Jordan valley when discussing a return of the West Bank to Jordan in 1967. Given the Arab winter in Libya, Egypt, Iraq and Syria, Israel and Jordan need to defend against the West Bank becoming a launching pad for foreign and homegrown jihadists.

13 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/12/2013 22:26
I think Palestine will need a security presence on the Mediterranean coast. After all, it's a well-known fact that Israel brings in arms from the United States -- and of course, she's mounting terrorist attacks on the Palestinians daily, right now.

14 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/12/2013 22:28
To Rafael #3: 'the PLO can not have everything it desires. So if it does not compromise ' I proposed a 'compromise' along the lines of what you suggest with the bacon this morning with my wife. She'd cooked six pieces and given me three. I ate those, and tried to make her give me two of those that were left to her. Sadly, she didn't go for it.

15 ) red / USA
09/12/2013 23:20
what peace talks? another Kerry con! - Hamas heroes win!

16 ) Proposals and / Real Statehood
10/12/2013 02:25
Regarding an agreement that May exist between Israel and "Palestine", - Neither "Kerry's proposals," Nor the UN's, EU's, etc. count for anything. However, If "Palestine" does Not find a way to - EITHER ACCEPT ISRAEL'S PROPOSALS, - OR some how convince Israel to accept theirs, then there will be a "total failure of talks", and - PALESTINE WILL NEVER BECOME A REAL STATE.

17 ) Outlier / USA
10/12/2013 05:22
15, red - if a win means leaving Gaza to cope without electricity, then yes, Hamas heroes win. Otherwise, no.

18 ) southparkbear / usa
10/12/2013 05:29
ali, your jordan 'brothers' killed in one month of september 1970 twice as many palestinians (mostly terrorists) who got killed by israel since 1947. these brothers also make sure to keep your syrian refugees brothers out of jordan

19 ) Oliveland / Palestine
10/12/2013 06:21
Its all song and dance ! Israel is not ready for peace , its too greedy and wants more . 1967 borders is a great sacrifice for the Palestinians and Israelis do not get that , they think that ' might is right' and its a matter of how many crumbs can they give back generously to the 'sharpnel in the butt' natives . Israel is sleap walking into their greater Israel plan , and the fight soon will be for equal rights .

20 ) gabi / australia
10/12/2013 08:16
lol Colin - but at least you didn't try and take the whole of the bacon, on the pretext that she refused to negotiate so you can take it all, and she was only a terrorist anyway, and not a real person anyway and you were at the table first anyway, so you had first rights anyway, and anyway . . . . next time you do the bleedin' cooking !!

21 ) Colin Wright / USA
10/12/2013 09:31
To Johnny Benson #9: 'Think of the history ...Muslim states can not be trusted to keep any bargain...' Considering you're speaking as an advocate of a state that is infamous for ignoring its own undertakings, that calls for an award. 10 chutzpah points.

22 ) Colin Wright / USA
10/12/2013 09:59
The irony here is that if Israel had permitted the US to throw its weight behind the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, Israel would securely have the pre-1967 ceasefire lines as her borders right now. However, it's too late for that -- largely as a consequence of Israel's own expansion of settlements. As somebody said about somebody else, 'the Zionists never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.' Keep missing, guys. I give you about another ten years.
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