Israeli President Shimon Peres has been holding secret talks with the top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in Ramallah. The talks are an attempt to restart peace talks and stop a Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN in September.Sources at Haaretz recently learned of the meetings which took place on Tuesday. Peres and Erekat were attempting to create a formula on borders and the status of Jerusalem that will provide a foundation for renewed peace negotiations.
Reportedly, the two were examining maps and exploring options consisting of either exchanges or compensations for territories.
Palestinian sources confirm that the two officials have met several times, most recently this week.
Israel strongly opposes the Palestinian September bid for statehood, but the PA has stated that only the initiation of serious peace talks will avert the UN vote. Israeli officials are concerned that the UN bid could lead to a major increase of tension and violence in the West Bank.
PNN reported on Thursday that Israel has committed 75 million NIS to purchase non-lethal weaponry in preparation for September.
President Obama stated earlier this year that a two state solution should be implemented on the pre-1967 borders with so called “land swaps”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described those borders as indefensible.
Around 500,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements in the West Bank, beyond the pre-1967 borderline.