Israel rejected talks on Palestine borders — report
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Israel rejected talks on Palestine borders — report

PA said to have proposed clandestine peace negotiations focused on borders during July meeting between negotiators

PA President Mahmoud Abbas (R) and chief peace negotiator Saeb Erekat sign an application to join UN agencies, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
PA President Mahmoud Abbas (R) and chief peace negotiator Saeb Erekat sign an application to join UN agencies, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Israel reportedly rejected a Palestinian proposal last summer to hold clandestine negotiations in which the two sides would outline the future borders of a Palestinian state.

According to an Israel Radio report Sunday, the Palestinian Authority proposed a series of closed-door meetings, only at the end of which the two sides would announce a deal.

The proposal was pitched in a meeting between then-interior minister Silvan Shalom and top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in Jordan on July 24, 2015.

The secret meetings, were held in July in various European and Middle Eastern cities, including Paris and Amman. The Amman meeting was described as a “trust-building” move.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sought to jump start peace talks in September 2014 with a precondition of setting the future borders of a Palestinian state at the beginning of negotiations.

Shalom, then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s point man on peace talks, said at a security conference in July that the delineation of borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state must not be determined at the start of peace talks. As soon as the Palestinians would get territorial assurances for a state, he argued, they would become unwilling to compromise on other core issues that need to be resolved, such as security arrangements, Jerusalem and refugees.

Shalom resigned as interior minister last week amid allegations of sexual harassment by former employees.

Official American-mediated peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in April 2014 with each side accusing the other of violating the terms of the negotiations. Erekat claimed in 2014 that the real reason for the breakdown of formal talks was the failure to reach an agreement on borders.

Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have run high ever since, including a bloody war in summer 2014 in the Gaza Strip, and an ongoing wave of clashes and near-daily terror attacks on Israeli security forces and civilians.

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