Itongadol.- Israeli and Palestinian officials put forward clashing formats for peace talks due to resume in Washington on Monday for the first time in nearly three years after intense US mediation.
Palestinian, Israeli officials clash over format of Washington peace talks
US Secretary of State John Kerry is due to bring the negotiators together in the evening and on Tuesday to renew talks that broke down in 2010 over Israel\’s settlement of occupied land where Palestinians seek a state.
Previous attempts to resolve the decades-old conflict had sought to ward off deadlock and the risk of knock-on violence by tackling easier disputes first and deferring the most emotional ones like the fate of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.
This time "all of the issues that are at the core of a permanent accord will be negotiated simultaneously", Silvan Shalom, a member of Prime Minister Binyamin Netayahu\’s cabinet and rightist Likud party, told Army Radio.
The Palestinians, with international backing, want their future state to have borders approximating the boundaries of the West Bank, adjacent East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip before Israel captured them in the 1967 Middle East war.
Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top official in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas\’s umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization, said the US letter of invitation to the Washington talks had not specified which disputes were to be discussed.
But Abed Rabbo told Voice of Palestine radio the talks "will begin, in principle, on the issues of borders and security".
Netanyahu had resisted Abbas\’s calls to accept the 1967 border formula before talks resumed. Shalom said that the Israeli position would help keep the talks, which are slated to last nine months, comprehensive.