US Secretary of State John Kerry will offer Israeli and Palestinian negotiators a political trade-off: Israeli recognition of the 1967 lines as a basis for the future Palestinian state, in return for Palestinian recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, Palestinian sources told the Saudi daily Al-Watan on Sunday.
According to the sources, the mutual recognition will constitute the core of a framework agreement to be signed by the end of January, and negotiated in greater detail during the following months.
“The coming weeks will be difficult for the Palestinian and Israeli sides, since they will need to make tough decisions,” a source told Al-Watan. “On the one hand, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will need to live with a text speaking of the 1967 borders, and the Palestinians, for their part, will need to live with a text speaking of Israel’s Jewishness.”
PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Arab foreign ministers have reportedly sent letters to US President Barack Obama and Kerry rejecting Israel’s demand to recognize it as a Jewish state and refusing any Israeli military presence on the future Palestinian state.
“These letters were sent so that the American administration avoids any reference to the issues rejected by Arabs and Palestinians among the ideas Kerry is going to present,” a source told Al-Watan.
Meanwhile, Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk on Sunday warned Abbas against signing a framework agreement, which he dubbed “a second Oslo Accord.”
Terrorists operating out of southern Lebanon fired four Katyusha missiles at northern Israel early Sunday morning, prompting a fierce military and diplomatic response by the Jewish state.
Two of the Lebanese missiles hit near the northern Israel town of Kiryat Shemona, which is sadly all too used to such violence.
Despite the attack, schools and businesses in Kiryat Shemona opened as usual, even as local residents could hear the Israeli army’s reprisals hitting just over the nearby border.
Israel fired heavy artillery at the source of the missiles, though sources in southern Lebanon said the Israeli shells landed on the outskirts of the towns from which the attacks originated.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the attack was a double war crime, as whoever had fired the missiles had assaulted a civilian population and had done so from under the cover of another civilian population.
A 4.9-magnitude earthquake Sunday evening rocked much of southern Italy, sending frightened people into the streets of Naples and country towns.
Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris said there were no reports of damage in the city, the largest in Italy's south. In Piedimonte Matese, a small town near the epicenter, Mayor Vincenzo Cappello told Sky TG24 there were no injuries and no major structural damage, although some buildings may have suffered minor damage.
Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said the quake at 6:08 p.m. (1708 GMT) had a magnitude of 4.9 and struck some 10.5 kilometers (6.5 miles) underground. Its epicenter was roughly 55 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Naples.
The Italian news agency LaPresse said the earth shook as far away as Puglia, in the southeastern heel of the boot-shaped peninsula.
SkyTG24 TV reported that some people in Naples and elsewhere decided as a precaution to sleep in their cars Sunday night as aftershocks of much lesser intensity rattled the area.
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