[Saturday, December 14, 2013] President Mahmoud Abbas, according to a Palestinian source, has rejected US proposals for Israel to keep troops in a future Palestinian state along the Jordan border, the Ma’an News Agency has reported.US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Abbas, on Thursday, in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
‘President Abbas has rejected the ideas presented by the secretary of state’, the source stated.
Abbas also gave Kerry a letter concerning ‘Palestinian red lines,’ the source added, singling out ‘the refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.’
Abbas ‘rejected the ideas on security because there is not a third party.’
(This refers to a plan by former US national security adviser James Jones, under which a third party would be deployed along the Palestinian-Jordanian border.)
Israeli and Arab media reports state that the new plan would see Israel maintaining a military presence along the border, after a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
The Jordan Valley forms over 30 percent of the occupied West Bank, and over 94 percent of the region in question, which would include the Dead Sea area, is prohibited for Palestinian use, with the land either declared a closed military zone or reserved for illegal Israeli settlements.
An international force would be acceptable to the Palestinians, but Israel opposes such a solution.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.