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October 15, 2013 3:03 pm

Report: Israel, PA Peace Talks Face Implosion Over Jordan Valley Buffer Zone

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat. Photo: State Department.

The current ongoing peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are in jeopardy, Ma’ariv reported on Tuesday, after the PA scoffed at the idea of Israel maintaining a military presence in the Jordan Valley, an Israeli requirement to establish a buffer zone before creating a Palestinian state.

According to the Israeli daily, PA negotiators in a recent meeting demanded that only its forces should be placed in the Jordan Valley, along what it would like to see as a Palestinian state’s eastern border, allowing for each state to retain independent boundaries. The Israelis refused, maintaining their insistence that a future Palestinian state be demilitarized and that Israel have control of the airspace, maritime traffic and border crossings to guarantee security.

According to the report, the Palestinian negotiators rejected this, saying, “Menachem Begin gave us a lot more than that. We prefer the status quo over a demilitarized closed cage…”

According to the report, Israel has refused any alternative, including allowing international peace keeping forces into the territory.

Prime Minister Benjamin “Netanyahu has put himself into a deadlock with his demand for a demilitarized state,” a source in Jerusalem told the daily. “It’s a logical failure. Netanyahu is beginning to realize the negotiations have ended before they had even started.”

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