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Kerry to change his Palestine-Israel negotiations team, Israeli newspaper reports

An informed American official told the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth that US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to replace most of his team members who work on the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, pointed out that Kerry has not yet announced whether he will wait for several months and thus start new reconciliation efforts, or set up new principles for an agreement based on US vision.

Israeli officials confirmed the same to Haaretz newspaper, citing a letter sent by Martin Indyk to Brookings Institute in which he previously served as vice president. Indyk, Kerry's Middle East envoy, sent the letter to Brookings 6 months before the start of reconciliation talks, and mentioned in it that he was expecting to return to the Institute soon.

Haaretz pointed out that it is highly likely that the anonymous official quoted by Yedioth Ahronoth as saying that negotiations had failed was Indyk himself.

The official added that, unlike Israeli claims, the settlement issue was one of the major obstacles to reaching solutions in the 9 months agreed upon.

Furthermore, the official said that the US team drew tentative borders for the West Bank using advanced software, and that according to the US plan, Israel would continue to exercise control on more than 80 percent of settlements in the West Bank, while only 20 percent would be evacuated.

Regarding Jerusalem borders, the plan is based on what former US President Bill Clinton suggested in 2000, namely that Jewish neighbourhoods would continue to be under Israeli control, while Arab neighbourhoods would be run by the Palestinian Authority. According to the US official, however, Israel did not respond to the US proposal, neither positively nor negatively.

 

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Asia & AmericasIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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