Netanyahu spokesman denies Israel open to 1967 border formula

JERUSALEM Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:01am EDT

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem July 14, 2013. REUTERS/Abir Sultan/Pool

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem July 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Abir Sultan/Pool

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokesman denied on Thursday Israel had agreed to a formula for new talks with Palestinians based on the border of their future state being drawn along lines from before a 1967 war, with agreed land swaps.

An Israeli official had earlier told Reuters that if the Palestinians accepted the formula, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry could announce the relaunch of peace talks. He would describe the future Palestine as existing alongside a "Jewish state" of Israel.

But Mark Regev, a spokesman for Netanyahu, called Reuters and said "the report is untrue". Netanyahu's office had earlier declined to comment on what had been said by the first official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Kerry is visiting the region and hoping to find enough common ground for Israel and the Palestinians to renew peace talks stalled since 2010.

Israel has previously balked at agreeing to the 1967 borders as a basis for talks. Netanyahu demands that the Palestinians explicitly recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Asked about Reuters' initial report that Israel had agreed to the 1967 formula, a U.S. official cautioned that "there is a great deal of inaccurate information out there right now and our focus is continuing to work through details with both parties".

Kerry said on Wednesday after talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan that gaps between the sides had "very significantly" narrowed.

An Arab League committee said proposals for resuming peace talks made by Kerry, which have not been made public, "provide the ground and a suitable environment to start negotiations".

(Writing by Dan Williams and Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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Comments (9)
kenradke11 wrote:
Awesome news…but will it just be talk and no walk…or???

Jul 18, 2013 6:26am EDT  --  Report as abuse
emu wrote:
Would be absolutely stunning but I believe it when it happens.

Only, who are “the Palestinians” for the purpose of such an announcement?
Abbas? Abbas+Meshaal? The majority of some to be held referendum?

Jul 18, 2013 6:39am EDT  --  Report as abuse
emu wrote:
What precisely does Netanyahu mean, wenn he demands, “that the Palestinians explicitly recognize Israel as a Jewish state”?

Eugenics or forced sterilization for ensuring that muslims have a lower birth rate than jews?
Forbidding muslims to stand in elections for certain offices, like prime minister?

How does this play with the non-discrimination on religious grounds in the universal declaration of human rights which israel has ratified?

Jul 18, 2013 7:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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