Palestinians reject U.S. security proposal for Israel peace accord, official says
Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat denies the claim, saying Kerry never presented a finalized plan.
The Palestinian Authority rejected an American proposal brought forth by visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday for security arrangements under a possible future peace accord with Israel, a Palestinian official told Reuters.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity and declined to elaborate on the proposal, said Kerry presented them to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting that took place in Ramallah.
"The Palestinian side rejected them because they would only lead to prolonging and maintaining the occupation," the official said, referring to Israel's hold on the West Bank, among territories where Palestinians seek statehood.
The head of the Palestinian negotiating team, Saeb Erekat, denied the report.
Erekat told the official Palestinian news agency Wafa that Kerry did not present Abbas with a finalized proposal.
"The talks between us and the Americans continue," he said.
In remarks made to the press after the meeting with Abbas, Kerry hinted at discord over the security arrangements. The secretary of state said that progress has been made in the talks with the Palestinians but stressed that "there are questions of sovereignty, questions of respect and dignity which are obviously significant to the Palestinians, and for the Israelis very serious questions of security."
Kerry returned to Jerusalem after the meeting to have dinner with Netanyahu. The two were set to meet again on Friday morning to continue the discussion on the U.S. security plan.