A meeting held Monday between Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molko and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in Jordan concluded with no significant progress, Palestinian sources told Ynet.
The first round of Amman-based talks in the latest effort to restart the peace process took place last week and was mediated by the Mideast Quartet and Jordanian diplomats.
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According to the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat, the Palestinians presented Israel with their response to a 22-article document given to them at the end of the first round of talks.
The documents is said to address various issues including Jerusalem, refugees, borders, security arrangements and water.
First meeting in Jordan (Photo: EPA)
The paper said that Israel's draft of the document was "too general" and was ambiguous on many of its stands on those issues.
The Palestinians had apparently presented the Israeli team with data on settlement activity in the West Bank, claiming it was "destroying" the two-state solution. They further demanded that Israel present its stand on the future questions of borders in writing.
During the first meeting, Molko had reportedly demanded that the talks be treated as bona fide negotiations, not just overtures – a request denied by the Palestinians, who said that Israel must first create the "right atmosphere" by freezing all settlement activity.
At this time, it seems that the Palestinians are willing to continue the talks only until January 26, which is when the Quartet's deadline to both parties will elapse.
The Palestinians have already submitted their brief on the future Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to the Quartet and are demanding Israel do so as well.
A senior Palestinian source said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had agreed to the talks in Amman, but conditioned actual negotiations with a settlement freeze.
Abbas, the source added, agreed to the talks out of appreciation to Jordan's efforts in the matter, but "he does not believe they will mature into true negotiations."
You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet's Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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