Chief US negotiator outlines framework agreement
Published Friday 31/01/2014 (updated) 01/02/2014 10:16
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- A chief US negotiator told Jewish leaders on Friday that a framework agreement would be presented to the Israeli and Palestinian sides within weeks, Israeli media reported.
Haaretz reported that Martin Indyk, special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, told the leaders that the agreement would address Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, security, mutual recognition, land swaps, and borders.
Indyk said the agreement would be the basis for a final deal by the end of 2014.
The framework will be vague on the status of Jerusalem and other sensitive issues, Indyk said. But it will also make specific proposals for other major points of contention.
He said a new security arrangement would be proposed for the border between the West Bank and Jordan.
The framework will offer compensation for Palestinian refugees, and also for Jewish settlers moving back to Israel, he said.
However, a majority of settlers -- 75-80 percent -- would be able to stay as a result of land swaps which would render areas of the West Bank part of Israel.
The agreement will additionally identify "Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people and Palestine as the nation state of the Palestinian people," Indyk said.
Abbas and other chief Palestinian officials have repeatedly stated that they would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, an Israeli request that has dominated the current round of peace talks.
The officials say recognizing Israel as a Jewish state would threaten the rights of nearly 1.3 million Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel who remained in their homes during the displacement of the majority of the Palestinian population during the 1948 war.
Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians were relaunched in July under the auspices of the US after nearly three years of impasse.
Israel's government has announced the construction of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements since peace talks began.