CMEP Bulletin: Developing a Framework Agreement
As the world focuses on the tragedy in Syria and talks in Geneva, a framework agreement between Israelis and Palestinians is still quietly developing.
Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Israeli special envoy Isaac Molcho traveled to Washington to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Davos in the coming days. They discussed the framework agreement Secretary Kerry is still trying to finalize something that both sides feel they can live with. According to Haaretz, Secretary Kerry will hold a similar meeting with Palestinian officials in Washington next week. Acceptance of Kerry’s framework as the basis of negotiations by both sides will take the pressure off as the original April deadline comes closer.
The gaps on the core issues of the conflict, including borders, security, refugees and Jerusalem, remain wide. Specifically, the question of security on the Jordan Valley border has attracted attention as a main point of contention between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.
Many papers are reporting that Secretary Kerry plans on announcing a vague plan in Aqaba, Jordan with Netanyahu, Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah II. London-based Arabic paper Al Hayat claims the Palestinians are dismayed by the “fuzzy” details.
Contributing to the Palestinian’s dismay is the announcement that Israel will move ahead with another 381 homes for settlers in the West Bank, less than two weeks after unveiling plans for 1,877 more units, some in the contentious East Jerusalem. So far this year, the Israeli Civil Administration has announced 2,530 new settlement units. In response to the announcements, Erekat simply told reporters, “Netanyahu’s government does not want peace.”