With regard to PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo’s request to see a map of Israel’s borders, U.S. State Department Spokesman Phillip Crowley said it is a “perfectly legitimate question,’ and a fact that was ‘the essence of the negotiation.”Crowley answered Abed Rabbo, who had called on Israel and the U.S. to provide a map of Israel’s borders before they asked anything else.
Crowley said it is legitimate to define what the borders of a future Palestinian state, and what the borders of the Israeli state would look like. He said the question must be resolved in the direct negotiations and not through the media.
The PLO rejected the offer presented on Monday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel would stop building settlements on Palestinian land for two months in exchange for the Palestinian Authority’s recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
Abed Rabbo had said, ‘Israel is an unknown entity in terms of borders.’ He questioned how it could be recognized as a Jewish state if borders were not defined. He told the Ma’an News Agency that the first step was for Israel and the US to set out Israel’s borders.
The PLO officially recognized the State of Israel in 1993, but refused Netanyahu’s recent demand, saying it would threaten the civil rights of Palestinians living inside Israel, and would forfeit the right of refugees to return.