Israel’s Maariv newspaper revealed on Monday new details of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework proposal for pushing the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations forward. According to the newspaper, Kerry has been putting pressure on Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept a number of concessions that include softening his stance against the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel, in exchange for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s recognition of Israel’s Jewish identity. Netanyahu has reportedly rejected this proposal.
The newspaper also noted that there are several signs which suggest that the US-sponsored bilateral negotiations will be extended for one more year under the condition that Israel consents to freezing all plans for the building of new settlement projects.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman expressed provisional support on Sunday for Kerry’s proposal, but only providing that it includes the exchange of territories and populations, specifically referring to the “triangle” area southeast of Haifa and the forced transfer of Israeli Arab communities in the Wadi Arah region to Palestinian sovereignty. He also added that he would not consent to any agreement that allows “even one” Palestinian refugee to return to Israel.