Israeli-Palestinian Negotiators Postpone Scheduled Meeting

Israeli officials say reason is two-fold: to await Martin Indyk's arrival and to avoid holding meeting on day of terror victim's funeral.

Barak Ravid
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IDF soldier stands guard in front of Palestinian passersby at the scene of a shooting attack near Hebron, April 14, 2014.
IDF soldier stands guard in front of Palestinian passersby at the scene of a shooting attack near Hebron, April 14, 2014.Credit: Reuters
Barak Ravid

A meeting planned between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams for Wednesday night has been postponed, senior Israeli officials said.

The meeting has been delayed for a number of reasons, the officials said. One, to allow U.S. special envoy Martin Indyk to arrive in the region and participate in the talks, and two, so as not to hold it on the same day as the funeral for the Israeli killed in a shooting near Hebron on Passover eve.

The talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are set to go on until April 29 at this stage, while all other issues remain unresolved, PA officials told Haaretz on Saturday, adding that Israeli reports about further progress in the talks are exaggerated.

"We feel that the Israelis are talking about some progress – and even starting to believe themselves – even though it's a lie and there's actually no breakthrough. Everything seems stuck," a high ranking Palestinian official said.

Meanwhile, the New York Times urged U.S. President Barak Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry in its Tuesday editorial to drop their Middle East peace efforts and "move on and devote their attention to other major international challenges like Ukraine."

Instead of continuing to promote peace negotiations, the paper wrote, the United States should "lay down the principles it believes must undergird a two-state solution, should Israelis and Palestinians ever decide to make peace."

According to the New York Times, those principles should include "a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza with borders based on the 1967 lines; mutually agreed upon land swaps that allow Israel to retain some settlements while compensating the Palestinians with land that is comparable in quantity and quality; and agreement that Jerusalem will be the capital of the two states."

The paper noted that the administration's effort to broker a deal in 2009 "ran into the obstinacy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and resistance from the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas." Since then, it continued, "members of Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition government have tried to sabotage the talks."

Saying that Obama made the right decision to give peace a try, the paper stated that "it is apparent that the two sides are still unwilling to move on the core issues of the borders of a Palestinian state, the future of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees and guarantees for Israel’s security."



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