Arab report slams U.S. security ideas for Palestine

CAIRO Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:34am EST

Israel's controversial barrier runs along the Shuafat refugee camp in the West Bank near Jerusalem November 23, 2013. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Israel's controversial barrier runs along the Shuafat refugee camp in the West Bank near Jerusalem November 23, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Ammar Awad

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CAIRO (Reuters) - The Arab League on Saturday rejected U.S. proposals that would allow Israeli soldiers to be stationed on the eastern border of a future Palestinian state, underscoring the challenge facing a U.S. effort to wrap up a peace deal by April.

At an emergency meeting called at the request of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday, Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby said there could be not one Israeli soldier in the territory of a future Palestine.

But a resolution he read at the end of the meeting did not repeat the harshly critical language of a report circulated to the Arab delegates ahead of the gathering.

The report, seen by Reuters, said the U.S. security proposals "achieved Israeli security expansionist demands, and guaranteed (Israel's) continued control of (the Jordan Valley) on the security pretext".

It also described them as "an American retreat".

Palestinian sources have detailed a U.S. plan to allow a continued Israeli military presence for the next 10 years in the Jordan Valley. Israel says its troops have to remain there to prevent arms and militants entering the West Bank.

Abbas has rejected the idea of Israeli troops being stationed along the Jordan Valley, but says he could accept the deployment of U.S. troops there.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been shuttling between Israelis and Palestinians, has said the United States has presented "some thoughts" on security arrangements, but given no details.

The Arab League report said the United States and Israel were linking talks on political issues to the Palestinians' consent to "the American security solution". "This is what the Palestinian side rejects," it said.

Israel and the Palestinians resumed direct peace negotiations in July after a three-year break, but there has been little public sign of progress.

(Reporting by Ayman Samir; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

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Comments (17)
rgbviews wrote:
The State of Palestine will not accept limitations of any kind. It will be a fully independent sovereign state responsible for its own actions under international law.

The Palestinians have long been willing to accept an international peacekeeping force on their borders with Israel. Israel has consistently rejected the idea of an international peacekeeping force. We must ask the Israelis “why?” If they refuse to answer we must assume it is because such a force would put an end to their illegal acquisition of land and natural resources forever.

Dec 21, 2013 11:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
jklfairwin wrote:
Why would the Israel and the US refuse to agree to the stationing of US or even UN troops along the Jordan border rather than IDF troops? Is it simply that Israel demands its own troops there and does not want to be observed by the West in its IDF operations in the West Bank? Israel constantly uses the mantra of “security” to violate both international law and even its own law. The Israeli courts have repeatedly found that the route of the security/apartheid wall unnecessarily took land from Palestinians and had no security purpose.

Dec 21, 2013 12:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
rgbviews wrote:
“Israel says its troops have to remain there (Jordan Valley) to prevent arms and militants entering the West Bank.”

Israel has borders with Lebanon and Egypt, which are far more risky than Jordan. This Israeli argument does not hold water in the international community…. however we can see that it does “hold water” from the Israeli perspective as Israel seeks to establish control of the water resources in the Jordan Valley.

Dec 21, 2013 12:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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