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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Trump wants talks to resume within a month

U.S. President Donald Trump wants to resume peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) as soon as possible, according to officials involved in contacts between Israel and the U.S. who were quoted by Channel 10 News on Friday.
 
The sources said that the U.S. administration wants the talks between Israel and the PA to start in Washington within a period of one to two months, with the goal of narrowing the gaps between the sides as much as possible before beginning talks on issues of substance.
 
According to Channel 10 News, in meetings held this week, Americans discussed with Israel elements of a potential final agreement with the PA. The Israelis made it clear to the Americans that Israel cannot compromise when it comes to security arrangements in the final agreement.
 
The Americans are reportedly not satisfied with the measures towards the PA that were approved by the Cabinet this week, and want to see more confidence-building measures. The administration gave Israel a list of proposals for such additional measures, including what was reported on Channel 10 News earlier this week: A move which would redefine sections of Area C in northern Samaria as Area B. Area C is under full Israeli rule, while Area B is part of the Palestinian Authority and Israel is only in charge of security in that area.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett expressed his opposition to such a move earlier this week. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is reportedly opposed to the idea as well.
Friday’s report follows Trump’s visit to Israel this week in which he reiterated his desire to achieve a peace deal, and said he believes there are good chances to do so.