PM would give up 86% of West Bank, says deputy FM

Deputy foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a Likud faction meeting (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Deputy foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a Likud faction meeting (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Kerry and Netanyahu speak by phone; secretary said urging PM to produce proposal for Palestinian borders

July 26, 2013, 3:45 pm

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be prepared to relinquish 86 percent of the West Bank in a peace accord with the Palestinians, Israel’s deputy foreign minister said Friday.

A report in Maariv quoted Ze’ev Elkin, a hawkish member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, saying that were the Palestinians to agree to the former prime minister Ariel Sharon’s vision of Israel retaining 14% of the West Bank to encompass major settlement blocs, and relinquishing the rest, “Netanyahu would go for it.”

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are set to resume on Tuesday. Netanyahu and Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by phone on Thursday night about the new talks, with Kerry reportedly urging Netanyahu to present his proposals for the borders of a Palestinian state, and Netanyahu preferring that the talks first focus on Israel’s security needs.

The talks are set to continue for several weeks with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho representing Israel, and Saeb Erekat representing the Palestinians. Tuesday’s session will focus on a timetable for the negotiations. There are no immediate plans for direct meetings between Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Hebrew media reports indicated Friday.

A Haaretz report said Netanyahu had agreed to cap settlement building to 1,000 new homes during the negotiations, rather than freezing settlement building altogether as the Palestinians had demanded.

Netanyahu would agree “to a Palestinian state on 86% of the territory,” said Elkin, according to Maariv.” The prime minister would not consent to the division of Jerusalem, Elkin added, “but Tzipi Livni would.” Livni, leader of the Hatnua party, will be heading Israel’s team to the negotiations.

However, Elkin, who opposes Palestinian statehood, went on to note that the Palestinians had rejected Ariel Sharon’s idea, and had always indicated that they insisted on attaining 100% of the West Bank, with very limited land swaps on a one-for-one basis, to enable Israel to maintain only what he called “settlement strings” rather than settlement blocs.

The Orthodox Elkin, who lives at the Kfar Eldad settlement in the Etzion Bloc south of Jerusalem, said that, thus far, “the Lord… has solved our problems via the Arabs. [Yasser] Arafat didn’t accept [former prime minister Ehud] Barak’s offers,” and Abbas didn’t accept former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s proposals, he said. “But if the Palestinians, heaven forbid, were to show flexibility and come toward us, we’d get a lousy deal… On the 86% of the territory they’d get, they would build a terror state… But the fact is that the Palestinians haven’t budged a millimeter” in their demands for 100% of the West Bank.”

Netanyahu, who has expressed support in principle for a Palestinian state, has not specified how much West Bank territory he would be prepared to relinquish in negotiations. He has reportedly said he would seek to drive a harder bargain than his predecessor Olmert.

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1 reply

  1. I think there’s alot of Israelis who forget their just the caretakers of JERUSALEM,that city belongs to the LORD not them and they better not forget it,unless they would like to see what he’ll do to them,he has put them through hell in the past,and he’ll do it again if they aren’t careful,HE’S warned them NOT TO BE PARTING OUT HIS LAND,and IF america was smart they’d stay out of Israels affairs,I stood on the banks of the mighty mississippi river and watched the FATHER HIMSELF,RIP THE USA RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE,wide and deep,from the gulf to hudson bay,and a lot of states dissapeared into the hole……..america,you better stop your government,from messing around with Israels land,you won’t like whats going to happen……………..

"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 God's call to the world! Are you ready?

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