Feeling the love from the Palestinians. It isn't enough that they refuse to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas laid out his vision on Monday for the final status of Israeli-Palestinian relations ahead of peace talks due to resume in Washington for the first time in nearly three years.
Abbas said that no Israeli settlers or border forces could remain in a future Palestinian state and that Palestinians deem illegal all Jewish settlement building within the land occupied in the 1967 Six Days War.
The forceful statements appeared to challenge mediator US Secretary of State John Kerry's hopes that the terms of the talks, scheduled to begin Monday night over dinner, be kept secret.
"In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli - civilian or soldier - on our lands," Abbas said in a briefing to mostly Egyptian journalists.
Israel has previously said it wants to maintain a military presence in the West Bank at the border with Jordan to prevent any influx of weapons that could be used against it.
But Abbas said he stood by understandings he said he reached with former prime minister Ehud Olmert, predecessor to more right-wing leader Binyamin Netanyahu, that NATO forces could deploy there "as a security guarantee to us and them."
Palestinian sources say officials remain uncomfortable with the lack of a firm Israeli commitment, publicly or behind closed doors, to meet their remaining expectations.
They say that in talks in the coming days, the Americans hope to satisfy Palestinian objections by issuing a statement declaring the 1967 lines the basis for negotiations, and the United States will attempt to compel the Israelis to endorse their note.
The Palestinian Authority on Thursday rejected any Israeli plans to retain territory or even maintain a security presence on any portion of the West Bank or east Jerusalem after the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
Peace with Israel is not possible unless a Palestinian state with full sovereignty is established in the pre-1967 lines with east Jerusalem as it capital, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, announced.
Speaking to Israel Radio, Mofaz said, however, that even if a nuclear-armed Iran was only delayed by a few years, it would still be an achievement for Israel. He said Iran’s nuclear program was an existential threat to Israel, but that negotiations needed to be given a chance. Mofaz, who is also a former IDF chief of staff, suggested that Jerusalem should work behind the scenes to influence the talks with Iran.
Also speaking to the station, Energy and Water Resources Minister Silvan Shalom contended that the primary motive behind the Geneva nuclear talks between world powers and Iran was financial rather than prevention of Tehran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.
Shalom said world powers were interested in reopening global access to Iranian oil supplies and reducing the price of oil.