Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is weighing a plan that would lead to the establishment of a “Palestinian state with provisional borders”, and that this plan is intended to be part of a transitional peace deal with the Palestinians. Haaretz stated that Netanyahu told his advisors and associates that Israel needs to take a step forward, especially amidst the increasing protests against different regimes in the Arab world. He said that Israel will try to reach a final peace deal within a year.
Yet, Netanyahu claimed that the Palestinians are not currently interested in ending the conflict with Israel especially due to instability in the region and changes in Arab regimes.
Israeli sources reported that Netanyahu is trying to reach a temporary peace deal through negotiations with the Palestinians by setting the basis of a final agreement that would be reached in the future, and that the Palestinians will receive assurances regarding the permanent borders of their future state.
An official at Netanyahu’s office claimed that Israel is not trying to avoid a final-status deal, and that a provisional agreement “is the way to reach that step”.
Although full prospects of the proposal remain unclear, and amidst speculations that Israel is just trying to gain more time to enable more settlement construction and expansion, the proposal of Netanyahu is likely based on proposals made by former Army Chief Of Staff, Shaul Mofaz, and current Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who pushed for temporary measures that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state with provisional borders on 45-50% of the occupied West Bank, without any withdrawal from occupied East Jerusalem and without evacuating settlements or hindering settlement activities.
Such proposals, despite their differences and similarities, refrain from providing a real and substantial solution to the issue of Jerusalem, the international guaranteed Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees and other core issues such as natural resources and borders.
Some attempts were recently made to resume direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians, as the Quartet Committee called for a meeting in Brussels, but Netanyahu refused to send his envoys fearing to be subject to pressure regarding Israel’s settlement activities and violations in the occupied territories.
Another issues that emerged is the resignation of Saeb Erekat from his post as the Chief Palestinian Negotiator following the leak the negotiations cables.
Two weeks from now, the Quartet Foreign Ministers (Russia, the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations) will be holding a meeting in Paris to discuss possible efforts to ensure the resumption of the peace process.