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Kerry to propose transitional agreement between PA and Israel

February 10, 2014 at 10:38 am

Western diplomatic sources have said that the US administration hopes to propose a draft interim agreement between the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Israel next month. A senior diplomat told Al-Hayat newspaper that: “the American proposal consists of two parts: a political part and a security part. The security part has been proposed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and is being discussed during the Palestinian-American meetings. The political part will be proposed next month if the two sides agreed on the security part.”

The Western diplomat explained that: “the security part proposes a security agreement for a transitional period of 15-years, and gives the Israeli army full control over the border with Jordan. According to the American proposal, Israel will maintain its military presence in the Jordan Valley and the early warning stations atop West Bank mountains. It also provides for the establishment of joint Israeli-Palestinian control points in the Jordan Valley and for an international force.”

The source noted that the Palestinian side has agreed to the international presence, but insists that any Israeli presence must be for a temporary period that does not last for 15 years, in order to make way for a gradual withdrawal.

However Palestinian media have reported that Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, firmly rejects any kind of interim agreement. He reportedly told the Voice of Palestine radio that: “Talking about a temporary solution entirely contradicts what the US Secretary of State [John Kerry] promised at the beginning of the political process.”

Kerry is scheduled to arrive in the region on Wednesday to hold another round of talks with Israeli leaders and PA officials in Ramallah.