Israeli Maariv newspaper reported on Thursday that the ongoing negotiations with the Palestinians, which are taking place amidst a media blackout, have now reached a deadlock.
According to the newspaper, the two sides fundamentally disagree over borders. The Israelis are offering to lease the Jordan Valley to the Palestinian Authority over a period of decades, and the Palestinians are rejecting the indeterminate proposal.
Israeli radio reported Palestinian sources as saying that Israel is determined to control its military forces on the eastern borders with Jordan, refusing to assign an international task force.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Peace Now organization has reported that during the first half of 2013, the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem increased by 70 per cent in comparison to the same period in 2012. According to the anti-settlement organization, Israel embarked on the construction of 1708 additional housing units between January and June 2013, compared to 995 in 2012.