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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776
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Israel’s Top Negotiators in Dispute over Jerusalem

Tzipi Livni is far more flexible on Jerusalem that Netanyahu's man at the talks.

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The three teams negotiating for peace, not including the Americans.

The three teams negotiating for peace, not including the Americans.



In the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, there appears to be a serious dispute between the two leaders of Israel’s delegation, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s man, attorney Yitzhak Molcho, Israel Radio reported.

The internal dispute, which hays been encumbering the Israeli delegation’s effectiveness, is over the size of the territory in East Jerusalem in which there will be free movement for citizens of both Israel and Palestine. Molcho wants to limit that area as much as possible, while Livni is showing great flexibility on this issue.

In the negotiations, the Palestinian initial demand is a return to the 1967 border, while the Israeli position is going back to an area that encompasses not only all the Jewish settlement clusters, but all the Jewish settlements, period, which would include large and thriving centers like Psagot and Beit El. The Palestinians have also been told that the Jordan Valley will remain in Israel’s hands, as well as the water sources in the area. The Palestinians will be allowed to purchase water from Israel.

So far there have been 15 meetings between the heads of the two negotiating teams, each meeting lasting between 3 and 4 hours. Over the past few weeks American representative to the talks Martin Indyk has been present at the last segment of each meeting, to receive reports from both sides.

A source in the prime minister’s office has told Israel Radio that Israel is insisting on maintaining the integrity of a united Jerusalem in its present borders. But in Minister Livni’s office the version of the same story—unofficially—is more flexible.

Livni’s people have suggested that the leak regarding a dispute came from a source which is interested in sabotaging the talks. It appears that this source may be very close to the prime minister.

Yori Yanover

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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