Report: U.S. May Unveil Framework Peace Deal Without Agreement of Israel or Palestinian Authority
The White House is debating whether to unveil a framework Israel-Palestinian Authority peace agreement that will address final status issues without the consent of Jerusalem and Ramallah, Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported on Sunday.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is determined to present a proposal by no later than March 28 – the day when a fourth segmented release of Palestinian Arab terrorists from Israeli prisons is scheduled to take place, Ma’ariv said.
According to a senior level Israeli government official cited in the report, “There is a serious debate taking place within the White House over whether a framework agreement should be presented now, at any price, or whether to wait. The problem is that the [American] government has no Plan B if both sides reject the proposal.”
Meanwhile, the gaps between Israel and the Palestinian Authority appear enormous. It was during Kerry’s most recent meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Paris two weeks ago that the severity of the impasse became apparent, Ma’ariv reported. Abbas accused Kerry of being biased towards Israel and reiterated his refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The head of the PA also raised objections to proposed security arrangements and a recommendation for final borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state. Abbas also called Kerry to task on the proposed agreement’s vaguely worded fate of Jerusalem.
The upcoming fourth and final prisoner release installment has only ratcheted up tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently told Kerry that he won’t be able to persuade his government’s ministers and the wider Israeli public that releasing convicted Palestinian Arabs back into society is a good idea if, “Abbas then launches an international campaign in the United Nations to delegitimize Israel,” Ma’ariv said.
For his part, Abbas has stated that if the Palestinian Arab terrorists are not released on the agreed upon date, he will no longer feel obligated to refrain from appealing directly to the United Nations to have ‘Palestine’ recognized as a state.
Netanyahu will meet President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday. Two weeks later, on March 17, Obama is scheduled to meet Abbas in Washington.