The US State Department’s lead envoy to the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, Martin Indyk, has revealed that the proposed US framework agreement will allow 70-80 per cent of the Israeli settlers to remain in their homes under Israeli sovereignty.
Israel’s Haaretz newspaper said that Indyk held a meeting with American Jews on Thursday, telling the participants that the US intends to propose the agreement within the coming weeks and explaining that the leaders on both sides will not be surprised by its contents because it has been drafted following several consultations with them.
Israeli newspaper the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) and US newspapers the Washington Post and the New York Times all published details of the meeting between Indyk and American Jewish leaders, during which Indyk pointed out that allowing the proposed framework agreement to come from the US permitted the leaders on both sides to distance themselves from internal political pressures. “There may be things we need to say because they can’t say them yet,” he remarked. He also said that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will be able to accept the American document with reservations as the basis for a final deal until the end of 2014.
JTA quoted Indyk as saying that Abbas has not ruled out keeping the settlers in their homes as residents of any future Palestinian state.
According to Haaretz, Indyk noted that the agreement addresses issues like the security zone in the occupied Jordan Valley, offering many details; however, the issue of Jerusalem remains vague. The agreement also addresses compensating Palestinian refugees, as well as the Jewish refugees who immigrated to Israel, and refers to Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people and Palestine as the nation state of the Palestinian people.