Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, ordered a full media blackout on the proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians slated to start Wednesday.He instructed his government and officials in charge not to grant the media any statements regarding what happens behind the closed doors of indirect talks until an agreement, if possible, is reached.
Israeli Central Issues news Website reported Monday that Netanyahu demanded the United States and the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas not to leak anything to the media, and claimed that such reports could obstruct a final agreement.
Netanyahu is also hoping Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, would grant him guarantees that could promote the talks.
He said that “Israel’s security interests must be met at all times”, and wants proximity talks to be as short as possible.
But his stances regarding core issues such as settlements, borders, the refugees, natural resources and other core issues are the same and he frequently stated such stances will not change.
Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that Netanyahu wants to start the indirect talks with a discussion on security arrangements with the Palestinian Authority, and on water resources.
He will be holding talks with Egypt’s President, Hosni Mubarak, in Sharm Al Sheikh resort on Monday. Israel’s Trade, Labor and Industry Minister, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer will be accompanying him.
According to an agreement with the Unites States, Israel and the Palestinians should be holding talks on fundamental issues of a final-status deal. These issues are borders, Jerusalem, water resources, refugees, settlements and security.
Arriving Monday, U.S. Middle East Peace Envoy, George Mitchell, will start the indirect talks by touring between Tel Aviv and Ramallah. He would be meeting President Abbas later this week.
Haaretz stated that Mitchell will be holding meetings with Attorney Yitzhak Molcho as the later was involved talks with the late Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, when Netanyahu served his first term as a Prime Minister.