Israeli and Palestinian officials have announced their respective versions of the format for the peace talks which are expected to resume in Washington on Monday, and the two versions don’t seem to be in synch, according to Reuters.
In the past, the two sides agreed that, in order to avoid needless explosions in the talks, they would deal with the “easier” issues first, and only after they gain momentum would they touch the more emotional issues, like the future of East Jerusalem and the right of return of Palestinian refugees.
But this time, according to Likud Minister Silvan Shalom, speaking on Israel Army radio, “all of the issues that are at the core of a permanent accord will be negotiated simultaneously.”
But Abed Rabbo, a top PA official, told Voice of Palestine radio the talks “will begin, in principle, on the issues of borders and security.”
Earlier on, Prime Minister Netanyahu objected to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s demand that the 1967 borders must be accepted before talks resumed.
“Had the matter of borders and territory been given over, what incentive would they (Palestinians) have had to make concessions on the matter of refugees or Jerusalem?” Minister Shalom asked.
Abed Rabbo said Israel and the United States had been conferring about security without including the Palestinians.
“This is a big shortcoming in the Israeli and the American behavior because they are not discussing their bilateral security, they are discussing a central and a fundamental issue of ours and it concerns our future as a whole,” Rabbo said.