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February 1, 2014 9:00 pm

Report: Kerry Supports Leaving Jewish Settlers to Live Under Palestinian Authority Rule

avatar by Gidon Ben-Zvi

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: U.S. Department of State.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry does not oppose allowing several thousand Israelis who refuse to leave Judea and Samaria as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority to remain in their homes – under Palestinian-Arab rule, Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported.

Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni have asserted that the idea of evacuating 120 thousand Israelis living outside the large Jewish community blocs situated over the Green Line is not feasible.

In recent days Kerry has taken the words of Netanyahu and Livni, who is leading the Israeli negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, to heart, Ma’ariv said.

According to senior U.S. sources, Kerry and the rest of the American delegation involved in the current framework agreement talks are seeking ways to deal with a minority of Jews who will not agree to abandon their homes – without the need to resort to military force, Ma’ariv reported.

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That Netanyahu’s message had found a receptive ear first became evident during the World Economic Forum that was recently held in Davos, Switzerland. Israeli diplomats in attendance were pleased when at no point during the event did the U.S. Secretary of State say that a future Palestinian state will not be comprised of any Jews or Israelis, Ma’ariv said.

As such, the developing consensus on what to do with the handful of Israelis who choose to remain in homes that are located over the Green Line is to leave them under the civil and military control of the Palestinian Authority, so long as their lives are not endangered.

The IDF, however, would be allowed to enter the territory of a future Palestinian state if there’s a fear that Israelis in the PA-controlled lands have become vulnerable to physical harm.

According to American and Israeli sources, the fate of Hebron has also been discussed in recent days. While no decision has been finalized, there is evidently a push to tailor a solution that allows for a continued Jewish presence in Judaism’s second holiest city, Ma’ariv said.

For its part, the Palestinian Authority continues to oppose any Jewish presence inside a future independent Palestinian-Arab entity, Ma’ariv reported.

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