The Palestinian leadership rejected Thursday a layout for a peace plan presented to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas by US Secretary of State John Kerry, an official in Ramallah told Reuters.
The plan, presented Thursday, included various land swaps, a cap on Palestinian refugees who will be allowed to live in Israel, and a partial ban on IDF presence within the future Palestinian state’s borders, according to a Channel 10 report.
The Palestinian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity and declined to elaborate on the proposals, said Kerry presented the terms of a possible agreement to Abbas after discussing them separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier that day.
“The Palestinian side rejected them because they would only lead to prolonging and maintaining the occupation,” the official said.
The PA later issued a statement denying it had rejected Kerry’s ideas.
Abbas was not immediately available after the Ramallah talks and did not join Kerry in his brief comments to reporters, but top negotiator Saeb Erekat said afterward that talks were “difficult and complicated.”
““Abbas met Kerry for four hours… and discussed issues including security. We hope Israel will stick to its commitments and be forced to stop settlement building. Settlements are the reason for the difficulties in negotiations,” he told AFP.
According to Channel 10 News, the plan’s layout stated that “Greater Jerusalem,” which would include the city’s adjacent towns and villages, would be divided. The eastern side of the city would serve as the Palestinian state capital, the report said, while the western part would continue serving as Israel’s capital.
It is not clear how Jerusalem’s Old City, at the heart of the conflict, would be administered under the plan.
Kerry arrived in the country Wednesday to present the layout and help push along talks, amid Palestinian claims that they have reached a dead end.
The secretary met with Netanyahu earlier in the day, who endorsed the continuation of talks.
In a statement after the meeting, Netanyahu said in any deal “Israel can and must be able to defend by itself with our own forces against any foreseeable threat.”