Israel complained to the US regarding Palestinian officials leaking classified details about ongoing peace negotiations, an Israeli government official said on Sunday.
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators had pledged to US Secretary of State John Kerry they would not speak publicly about the content of their talks. But a Palestinian official who spoke to The Associated Press offered the first detailed peek at the renewed peace negotiations.
The anonymous Palestinian official said Israel had proposed leaving dozens of settlements and military bases in the West Bank and seeks a Palestinian state in provisional borders.
The Israeli official said Sunday some of the information the Palestinians have leaked is incorrect or distorted. He refused to elaborate. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as both sides said they wouldn’t brief the media.
The Palestinian official had said formal talks on borders had yet to start, 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.”
Meanwhile Sunday, Israel announced it would give an additional 5,000 work permits to West Bank Palestinians interested in working in Israel. The move was unanimously approved by the cabinet, as a trust-building gesture by Jerusalem as talks continue.
On the eve of the restarted talks, Israel agreed to the phased release of over 100 convicted terrorists from jail.