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Strong Israeli opposition to any concessions in occupied Jordan Valley

Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin expressed on Thursday his refusal to consider any framework agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA) based on the 1967 borders.

Speaking to Israeli radio, Elkin said: "Israel has to refuse any American framework agreement if it includes the issue of the 1967 borders, or if it does not approve Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley."

Elkin added: "It is good to have negotiations going on, but it is important that they do not cost Israel an existential price." He noted that the government "must not" commit to issues that completely oppose the Likud party's principles.

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived on Thursday afternoon in Tel-Aviv. He aims to resuscitate the flagging talks on a two-state solution between Israel and the PA.

During what will be his tenth visit since taking office last year, he is to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

The same day Kerry arrived, Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar and a number of Jewish Home MKs visited the Jordan Valley. The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth noted that: "The tour is sending a message to Kerry on territorial concessions."

The newspaper added that Sa'ar used the tour to reiterate his opposition to dismantling the occupation in the Jordan Valley. It reported him saying: "Without Jewish settlement, the army has nothing to defend and no reason to be there, and without the army there will be only terror."

Middle EastNews
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