The Associated Press offers the first inside look inside the restarted Israeli-Palestinian peace process and it isn’t pretty. An unnamed Palestinian official has leaked Israel’s proposals so far:
The Palestinian official said formal talks on borders have not yet started, and that negotiations have focused on security matters. He said the Israelis want to retain control of the West Bank’s border with Jordan, keep early-warning stations on hilltops, and retain military bases near the Jordanian border.
“Israel is using the issue of security to take land,” he said. “From the general discussions we had in the last couple of weeks, the Israelis have shown no intention to dismantle any settlement.” He said the current proposals indicated that Israel would seek to retain control over about 40 percent of the West Bank.
“They said, ‘Let’s discuss a state with provisional borders.’ We said, ‘Let’s agree on a state based on the 1967 borders first, and then we can agree on having this state in phases.”
The Palestinians see this proposal as a non-starter, while Israel and U.S. are refusing to comment on the leak.
Haaretz also reports on a quote from Nabil Shaath in an interview with Ma’an News Agency:
[Shaath] said that the talks so far have only dealt with procedural issues and the topics to be discussed in further talks. “All that’s happened for a month and a half is that Israel has presented the topics it wishes to discuss.” According to Shaath, Israel wants to start the negotiations from scratch, without any reference to previous negotiations with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Israel also insists on maintaining control over the Jordan River and on Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, according to Shaath.