Palestinian negotiator: Israel presented no position or offer in Amman talks (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Akiva Eldar 02/24/12)
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The only document Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far
presented to the Palestinians during the recent peace talks in Amman
is a list of 21 topics for discussion in negotiations on a final-
status agreement, Haaretz has learned.
Dr. Mahmoud Shtayeh, a senior member of the Palestinian delegation to
the talks in Jordan and one of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas´
close advisers, told Haaretz yesterday that the Israeli delegation
has submitted no position or offer. "We are still waiting for one.
What the Israelis did was to present a list of parameters that look
more like a plan to consolidate the current reality of Bantustans
than ending the Israeli occupation," he said.
Shtayeh said the Palestinian position presented in Amman is in
keeping with international law and has been submitted to the members
of the Quartet.
According to the Israeli document, which Haaretz has obtained,
Israel´s sole condition before final-status talks start is
Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish people´s state. Abbas
has rejected this demand several times.
"This was added as part of a sham grocery list of 21 topics Netanyahu
refers to as ´a comprehensive document´ for negotiations," said
Shtayeh of the demand to recognize Israel as the Jewish people´s
state. "We have recognized Israel 24 years ago on the 1967 borders
just as other countries like the U.S. and Micronesia have."
The Palestinians believe this demand conceals Israel´s intention "to
prejudice the rights of the Palestinian refugees who have been
waiting for over 60 years for justice and reparations... Acceptance
of this demand would also mean prejudicing the rights of over 1.5
million Palestinian citizens of Israel," he said.
The document does not mention the Palestinian position, supported by
U.S. President Barack Obama and the Quartet, that the basis for
negotiations should be the 1967 borders and consensual land swaps.
The document, copies of which were presented to foreign diplomats,
confirms the Palestinians´ claim that Israel refuses to present its
positions in documents and maps.
Shtayeh said that Isaac Molho, the chief Israeli negotiator, read out
to the Palestinian delegation "some parameters for a territorial
agreement that was more like a summary of the Likud political
Shtayeh, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, denied the Israeli
version that Molho´s offer was similar to the one made by former
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni at the Annapolis talks.
"We did not receive any written proposal or maps," he said. "How
could anyone believe that was their offer [complete withdrawal from
the territories apart from the settlement blocs]? His government is
composed of a very ideological group of parties that have clearly
stated that the occupied West Bank is part of Greater Israel."
The talks never reached the issue of land swaps because Molho
objected to using the term "occupied territories" and insisted on
calling them "disputed territory," Shtayeh said. Instead
of "settlers" he insisted on "Israeli citizens," he added.
"We said we could similarly open the discussion to include
the ´disputed territory´ of Jaffa and Haifa along with the ´disputed
territory´ of the West Bank," he said.
Applying the Israeli parameters would mean annexing 46 percent of the
West Bank to Israel, with no compensation to the Palestinians, he
The list Israel presented to the Palestinians includes such topics as
security, the end of conflict, territory and borders, the Gaza Strip,
Jerusalem, settlements, refugees, water, civilian matters and
infrastructure, religious sites, timetables for implementation and
the Palestinian state and its relations with Israel. (© Copyright
2012 Ha´aretz 02/24/12)
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