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Tel Aviv Makes Efforts to Postpone Quartet’s Report | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Secretary of State John Kerry (center-left) hosts a dinner with
Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (right 2nd from end) and
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat (3rd) in the Thomas Jefferson
Room of the Department of State Monday. Paul J. Richards / AFP – Getty

Reports from Tel Aviv have revealed that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and President of the Israeli opposition Isaac Herzog have reached a tentative accord to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict before the latest elections.

A source close to Herzog said that secret negotiations between the latter and Abbas in 2014, prior to the Israeli elections, led to this political accord. Both parties agreed that the Arab Peace Initiative should represent basis of the new regional reality in Middle East after the inking of the agreement.

Concerning borders, they have agreed that the Palestinian authority will control the whole areas which were occupied in the six-days war of 1967, which would be adjusted through land exchange equivalent to four percent of this territory.

About Jerusalem, they agreed on an Israeli withdrawal from the neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem, which will be the capital of Palestine, and agreed further that one municipality will be responsible for the two capitals’ affairs.

According to the plan, multinational forces were expected to work in the Haram Sharif, while the Western Wall will be under the Israeli sovereignty. The agreement also discussed the refugees’ case and said that its solution will be based on the Arab Peace Initiative according to the U.N. resolution no.194.

Responding to Channel 10’s report, Herzog said that in his contact with the Palestinian Authority in 2014, he made efforts to reach understandings that would have prevented the anticipated wave of terror.

Sources close to Netanyahu, said that he intends to hold an urgent meeting soon with U.S Secretary of State John Kerry to confront the growing momentum of the French initiative and the report of the Quartet on the Middle East concerning the issue of the political stagnation, which will be published on Thursday.

The sources confirmed that the Israeli PM called Kerry to switch the initiative of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi with the French one, to hold a conference that pushes the regional settlement. A senior Israeli official said that Netanyahu called Kerry on Friday and they agreed to meet soon.

Yet, a senior employee in the U.S. Department of State told the Israeli TV that they didn’t set a final date for the meeting, despite the continuous attempts to prepare for it.

Another source admitted that the main reason behind Netanyahu- Kerry’s meeting is the first’s concerns from increasing international preoccupation in the Israeli-Palestinian peace, particularly the French peace initiative, and from the U.S. position from the initiative, following Kerry’s attendance in the Paris gathering held on the 3rd of June, which provided the initiative with more support.

The report of the Quartet on the Middle East also causes remarkable disturbance for Netanyahu’s court. The report is expected to include heavy critiques against Israel concerning the building of settlements. The Israeli PM hopes he can convince Kerry to postpone the report’s publishing, or to reduce the negative intense tonality of the recommendations and the report.

The Security Council intends to hold his monthly session on Friday, to discuss the developments in the Middle East. The Israeli government fears that the Quartet would take advantage of this session and push the presidency of the council to issue a statement that adopts its reports and the recommendations it includes. Such a statement can enhance the importance of the report, no matter how symbolic.