Attorney Yitzhak Molcho
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Dennis Ross
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky

'Israel tries to strike deal with Europe, US'

Sources: State hopes to restart talks while securing European objections to Palestinian statehood bid

Government sources on Wednesday confirmed that Israeli and American officials are continuing their efforts to jump-start negotiations with the Palestinians, while Jerusalem is hoping to secure France and Britain's objection at a United Nations vote on the declaration of a Palestinian state.


Germany and Italy have already announced that they will object to a unilateral declaration of statehood, while France and Britain are eager to push Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiations table.



Jerusalem officials stressed that "in order to secure a plan that will satisfy everyone, Israel and the United States must reach mutual understandings and present a joint plan that (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu can adopt and the Europeans can approve."


American officials, headed by Dennis Ross, visited Israel recently and met with the prime minister's envoy Attorney Yitzhak Molcho. The Quartet representatives are planning to convene a summit on July 11 with the aim of formulating a plan that will revive the deadlocked talks.


"As of now, the Americans are not willing to compromise or withdraw from the position presented by President Barack Obama during his speech last month," said a governmental source in Jerusalem.


Europe, on its part, has been pushing for an international initiative, but the Americans are not in a hurry to adopt the plan. Only two weeks ago, Washington rejected a French initiative to convene a peace summit in Paris.


Meanwhile, Israel officials are pessimistic about the prospect of renewing negotiations and continue to follow the development in the Palestinians Authority.


Earlier this week, Hamas admitted that the reconciliation efforts with Fatah have ran aground, but this is not enough to encourage Jerusalem and Israeli officials are cautious to declare that a Palestinian government sans Hamas will pave the way to resume talks. "It is not a clear-cut factor," said a government official.


Prime Minister Netanyahu is scheduled to travel to Romania and Bulgaria in the upcoming days in an effort to persuade them to join the bloc of countries that object to a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.


Netanyahu has already stated that his goal is to secure the vote of 30 countries, which will serve as a "moral minority."



פרסום ראשון: 06.30.11, 08:57
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