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January 16, 2014 1:22 pm

Report: Netanyahu Proposes to Pay Palestinian Authority for Fourth Jewish Settlement Bloc

avatar by Gidon Ben-zvi

A community in the West Bank.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly come up with a creative idea to jump start the stalled peace talks between the Jewish state and the Palestinian Authority.

A senior Israeli official involved with the ongoing framework agreement talks revealed to IDF Army Radio on Thursday that Netanyahu is seeking to add a fourth bloc of Jewish communities around the Beit El region to land that Israel would retain in an eventual peace deal.

To date, negotiations have focused on maintaining Israeli sovereignty over three large Jewish centers, located in Gush Etzion, Ariel and Ma’ale Adumim.

In the Israeli Prime Minister’s latest offer to the Palestinian Authority, Israel would surrender an additional 13 percent of the disputed territories located over the Green Line, Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported.

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Netanyahu’s latest overture would require Israel to pay for the land in question, Ma’ariv said. What’s unclear at the present time is whether Israel’s Premier seeks to lease the land from the Palestinian Authority or to purchase the territory with the ultimate goal of placing it under Israeli sovereignty.

According to Ma’ariv, the Israeli proposal was presented to the United States and also includes the transfer of land housing some 300,000 Arabs currently living inside Israel’s ‘Triangle’ region, to a future Palestinian State.

The logic behind the transfer would be to compensate the Palestinian Authority for its acceptance of a fourth block of Jewish communities situated over the Green Line, Ma’ariv said. The proposal would also, according to official Israeli government sources, help maintain Israel’s Jewish character.

Jerusalem made a similar proposal a fortnight ago, suggesting to the Palestinian Authority that some of the disputed land located over the Green Line could be leased by Israel from a future Palestinian state. At the time, the Palestinian Authority rejected that Israeli initiative outright.

The content of Netanyahu’s newest plan and its presentation to the Americans was confirmed by a senior Jordanian official, Ma’ariv said. According to this high level source within the Jordanian government, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has conveyed Netanyahu’s idea to Jordan’s King Abdullah.

To date, the United States has not come out in support of the Israeli Prime Minister’s proposal while the Palestinian Authority is, once again, expected to oppose it, according to the report.

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