[QODLink]
Middle East

Israeli-Palestinian negotiations continue

Israeli chief negotiator claims 'dramatic decisions' to be made by Israel as talks proceed with the Palestinians.

Last Modified: 21 Aug 2013 09:47
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Israel's illegal settlement activity was the main reason behind the breakdown of the last round of talks [Reuters]

Israelis and Palestinians have held a second round of negotiations, and Israel's chief representative at the talks predicted the US-brokered process would lead to dramatic Israeli decisions.

Tzipi Livni coupled her forecast with acknowledgement that at least one partner in Israel's right-wing coalition opposed the goal set by the United States to create a Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel.

Livni, speaking on Israel Radio before talks convened on Tuesday in Jerusalem, said "there will be dramatic decisions" by Israel at the end of the negotiating process.

She said that in the meantime, both sides had agreed not to disclose details about their deliberations to build trust.

"We are arguing, but we are arguing inside the room," she said.

Illegal settlement expansion

The negotiations were renewed last month in Washington after a three-year standoff over Israeli illegal settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The first round of talks was held at an undisclosed location in Jerusalem on August 14, despite Palestinian consternation over Israel's approval in the run-up to the meeting of plans for 3,100 new illegal homes for settlers.

An Israeli statement issued after Tuesday's negotiations said that "both sides parted agreeing the meeting has been serious, and that they will continue the talks at a near date".

Livni and Yitzhak Molcho, a senior aide to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, represented Israel in the deliberations with Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and Mohammed Shtayyeh, an adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel has rejected criticism of its illegal settlement policy, saying the new units would be erected in enclaves it intends to keep in any future deal.

Most countries, as well as the United Nations and the European Union, view all settlements Israel has built on occupied land as illegal.

No details were given after last week's session that was widely believed to have focused on setting an agenda for discussing core issues such as borders, security and the future of illegal settlements, and Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.

"It is no secret that there is at least one party [in the Israeli government] that sees negotiations as wrong, that opposes two states for two peoples," Livni said, referring to the pro-settler Jewish Home faction.

She called on the main opposition Labour Party to "lend its support now" to the government's efforts, suggesting such political backing could help achieve a land-for-peace deal.

In a one-line response to Livni's reference to his party's opposition to a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Jewish Home's leader Naftali Bennett wrote on his Facebook page: "Get over it."

392

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.