Lieberman: Leaked Palestinian papers prove interim deal is only option
FM says even 'the most left-wing government of Olmert and Livni' could not reach permanent peace agreement with the Palestinians.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday that leaked Palestinian documents detailing fruitless negotiations with Israel prove that the only solution to the conflict between the two sides is a long-term interim agreement, such as his own proposal for a Palestinian state.
The documents on the peace process were leaked to the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera satellite channel and also published by the British newspaper the Guardian; Al-Jazeera said Sunday that it has received as many as 1,600 Palestinian documents.
The documents purportedly reveal how the Palestinians agreed to compromise on key issues, such as sovereignty in Jerusalem and the right of return for Palestinian refugees, during peace talks with the government of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008.
Palestinian negotiators have attempted to downplay the impact of the leaked documents, saying many of them have been fabricated.
"Even the most left-wing government of Olmert and [then Foreign Minister Tzipi] Livni did not manage to reach a peace agreement, despite the many concessions," Lieberman told Israel Radio on Monday.
"The documents prove that if even Olmert and Livni couldn't reach a compromise with the Palestinians, everyone will eventually see that the only solution is a long-term interim agreement. Any rational person would reach the same conclusion."
Lieberman explained that his plan for an interim agreement of a Palestinian state with provisional borders is the solution for "the latest development" brought on by the leaked documents.
"One day we must define our red lines - what we are prepared to do and what we aren't. [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu knows of the plan I am working on. I have been urging an interim agreement since the day this government was established," he explained.
Lieberman's plan, published Sunday in Haaretz, is to create a Palestinian state on 45-50 percent of the West Bank. The foreign minister drafted a map of the provisional borders, which, according to a senior Foreign Ministry official, would essentially "freeze the existing situation in the territories, with minor changes."