US Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly intends to propose a so-called “framework agreement” to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by the end of the month and has already made arrangements for the visit to the region during which he will offer his solution.
According a Sunday report from the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, details of the planned visit emerged during a meeting of the Arab League over the weekend. An unnamed source informed the newspaper that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told members of the league that the US is seeking to salvage peace talks that, according to persistent reports, are on the rocks. Abbas reportedly said that hotels and venues have already been booked for Kerry’s entourage, which is due to arrive before the end of December.
Kerry has been pushing for a framework agreement that would outline particulars of a permanent status accord to resolve core issues — Israeli security, Jerusalem, the borders of a Palestinian state, and the Palestinian refugees.
As a preliminary step to the agreement, Kerry proposed a security plan earlier this month to mollify Israeli concerns about control over the Jordanian border and Jordan Valley area.
Among its key elements, the US security plan reportedly provides for a series of border crossings along the Jordan Valley border between the West Bank and Jordan which would be jointly controlled by Israel and the PA. The entire border itself, however, would remain under full Israeli control, with the IDF joined only by a symbolic Palestinian security presence.
The US, under the proposal, would provide an additional security “envelope,” which would utilize drones and other high-tech equipment to provide real-time intelligence on any terrorist threats and other unlawful border activity.
On Saturday the Arab League rejected the security plan at an emergency meeting of its foreign ministers in Cairo that was called by Abbas.
Under heavy US pressure, Israel and the Palestinians resumed negotiations in July after a three-year hiatus. The sides have reportedly met more than 20 times since and Kerry has traveled to the region no fewer than nine times in recent months to further talks.
Kerry was last in the region last weekend when Israel and neighboring countries were hit by a severe winter storm. He met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and Abbas.