Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to hold a fourth meeting, scheduled to be held on January 25, a day before the Quartet's deadline.
On Saturday, Israeli envoy Attorney Yitzhak Molcho and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat met for the third time in Amman. State officials said prior to the meeting that Israel wants to arrange a summit meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and hold an ongoing dialogue until March. It is expected that Netanyahu will present his plan on borders and security at this time.
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Netanyahu has promised to present clear positions on borders and security. In the past he has hinted about his plans on the borders issues suggesting that the big settlement blocs will remain inside Israel while other territories will be transferred to the Palestinians.
Some settlements outside the main blocs will also remain under Israeli sovereignty. Netanyahu is adamantly opposed to a return to the 1967 lines and has repeatedly stressed that Jerusalem must remain united under Israeli rule.
He has thus far refused to present his plan publically, which may cause a stir among his coalition partners.
Some political elements estimated that exposing Netanyahu's plan may cause the general elections to be moved up. His political plan is scheduled to outline clear security positions such a demilitarized Palestinian Authority, Israeli rule in the Jordan Rift Valley for several decades as well as clear border lines in the West Bank.
The Palestinians, on their part, stressed that based on Israeli statements during the talks, there was no chance negotiations would ensue. The said the ball was now in Israel's court.
Diplomatic sources told the London-based al-Hayat newspaper that the next meeting is expected to be crucial in deciding whether negotiations would be reignited or not. The Palestinians are still waiting for an Israeli response on their position paper regarding borders and security.
Meanwhile, the PA is working to garner support from world leaders. Palestinian President Abbas will embark on a world tour Sunday during which he will visit Britain, Germany and Russia. He is slated to ask the leaders of those countries to pressure Israel into halting settlement construction.
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