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.