Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with US special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations Martin Indyk in Ramallah on Friday to discuss the ongoing negotiations with Israel and efforts to create an atmosphere conducive to making progress.
According to Israel Radio, Indyk said this week that a decision has been reached to increase American involvement in the talks and that he was convinced that negotiations would end differently than previous failed efforts to reach peace.
The two last met in mid-September to discuss a stronger, more direct US involvement in talks.
Israel and the Palestinians resumed negotiations in July after a three-year freeze. The latest round was brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry who visited the region no fewer than six times before a resumption of negotiations was announced.
On Sunday, Maariv reported that Israel and the Palestinian Authority have reached an impasse due to an Israeli refusal to discuss land-swap and border issues.
According to an unnamed, senior foreign diplomat with knowledge of the discussions cited in the report., during the latest round of talks, the Israeli team of Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Netanyahu adviser Yitzhak Molcho made it clear to the Palestinians that Israel intends to retain some of the settlement blocs as part of a final agreement, but refused to name which areas or discuss possible compensation to the Palestinians for the territory to be annexed.
Last week, Livni addressed the J Street conference in Washington, affirming Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution and arguing that a peace deal would effect fundamental change throughout the Middle East.
At the United Nations General Assembly last month, Kerry said the two sides had agreed to an intensified schedule of talks, with more direct US involvement, in an effort to reach a final agreement.