Israel will make 'dramatic decisions' for peace, negotiator says

JERUSALEM Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:32pm EDT

1 of 2. An Israeli soldier stands guard in front of an army post as Jewish settlers protest against a stabbing attack by a Palestinian, at Tapuach junction, near the West Bank city of Nablus April 30, 2013.

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S.-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians will result in dramatic Israeli decisions, the chief Israeli negotiator predicted on Tuesday.

Tzipi Livni coupled her forecast with acknowledgement that at least one partner in Israel's right-wing coalition opposed the goal set by the United States, which is brokering the talks, to create a Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel.

Livni, speaking on Israel Radio, said "there will be dramatic decisions" by Israel at the end, and negotiators had agreed not to disclose details about their deliberations in order to build trust.

"We are arguing, but we are arguing inside the room," she said.

Israeli and Palestinian sources said the negotiating teams planned to convene for a third round of talks, in Jerusalem, on Tuesday.

The negotiations were renewed last month, in Washington, after a three-year standoff over Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas captured in the 1967 Middle East war and which Palestinians seek for a state along with the Gaza Strip.

A second round of talks was held at an undisclosed location in Jerusalem on August 14, despite Palestinian consternation over Israel's approval in the run-up to the meeting of plans for 3,100 new homes for settlers.

Israel has rejected criticism of its construction plans, saying the new homes would be erected in settlements within blocs it intends to keep in any future peace deal. Most countries view all settlements Israel has built on occupied land as illegal.

No details were given after last week's session on the subject matter, widely believed to have focused on setting an agenda for discussing core issues such as borders, security and the future of settlements, Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.

"It is no secret that there is at least one party (in the Israeli government) that sees negotiations as wrong, that opposes two states for two peoples," Livni said, referring to the pro-settler Jewish Home faction.

She called on the main opposition Labor Party to "lend its support now" to the government's efforts, suggesting such political backing could help achieve a land-for-peace deal.

In a one-line response to Livni's reference to his party's opposition to a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Jewish Home's leader, Naftali Bennett, wrote on his Facebook page: "Get over it."

(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Alison Williams)

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Comments (17)
Sonorama wrote:
“Get over it.”

A mature and reasonable leader if I ever saw one…

Aug 20, 2013 1:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Acushla wrote:
The media is still so politically correct they will not report that the real Palestinians are the Jewish people, not the Arabs. 60 years ago I was able to read Roman Empire History to read the Truth. It is so sad that so many people today are being misled by the media.

Aug 20, 2013 1:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
RichardJR wrote:
What about the people who were there before the Jews? I mean serisously, if you are going to go back to Roman times to decide who should own the land, why not go back further? The reality is that arabs have lived there for centuries, under the rule of various people, Ottomans, British, Jordan and Egypt. Yes, the Jews were dispersed by the romans a couple thousand years ago or so, but so what?

Aug 20, 2013 2:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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