Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported Wednesday that Israeli Envoy, Yitzhak Molcho, presented on Wednesday a verbal Israeli stance on the issue of borders, during talks with Chief Palestinian Negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat, in Amman, Jordan.Haaretz said that Molcho only presented a verbal stance, and did not provide any documents in this regard; the stance only included general principles without presenting any maps or ratios of land swap.
One of the principles that Molcho presented was an Israeli demand that, under any permanent peace agreement with the Palestinians, Jewish settlers living in the West Bank, in areas that Israel dubs as “Israeli lands”, should remain in their settlements that will be “part of Israel”.
Erekat demanded Molcho to present further details and maps, while Molcho said that he will provide all answers on the issue, in the coming few days.
Haaretz reported that Erekat refused to accept the verbal Israeli ‘offer’ regarding security arrangements provided by the head of the Israeli army Strategic Planning Division.
On his part, Molcho said that Israel will present its stance regarding security arrangements in the coming meeting.
Furthermore, Haaretz said that “despite the fact that Netanyahu’s government agreed, for the first time ever, to discuss geographic issues, the government seems to be conducting a tactical maneuver to pressure the Palestinian Authority into resuming direct peace talks with Tel Aviv,’ especially since consecutive Israeli government always refused to hold talks on main issues such as borders, natural resources, Jerusalem, and the Right of Return of Palestinian Refugees.
Several Palestinian factions slammed the Fateh-led P.A. in the West Bank for accepting to hold talks with Israeli officials, mainly due to the fact that peace talks collapsed due to Israel’s ongoing invasions, violations, home demolitions in Jerusalem, and the ongoing illegal settlement construction and expansion in the occupied territories, including in East Jerusalem.
The P.A. said that the talks in Amman were conducted to explore the possibilities of resuming official peace talks, and are not considered an official resumption of the peace process.
Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are illegal under international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.