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Peace talk draft possible in month: US ambassador

Updated: 2014-01-08 10:41
( Xinhua)

Peace talk draft possible in month: US ambassador

US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) speaks with US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv January 6, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

JERUSALEM - US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said Tuesday that a framework proposal for final status talks between Israel and the Palestinians will be imminent within a month, local media reported.

Shapiro, who talked with Israel Radio, said that the framework will include all the core issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and will be presented to both sides in the next several weeks.

"The proposal will include security arrangements, the issue of the borders, the status of Jerusalem and all other major core issues," Shapiro said.

The envoy added that US Secretary of State John Kerry's recent visit to Israel had made some progress and that Kerry would return shortly to further push the peace talks.

He also said that the United States is protecting Israel in the international community amid calls to ban Israel, but he believes that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is aware to the fact that failure in the negotiations would further deteriorate Israel's global standing.

With that in mind, on Tuesday afternoon, Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennet gave a hawkish speech against the peace talks and the Palestinians, during a conference at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

"We are determining the fate of Israel these days," Bennet said, whose party represents, among others, many Israeli settlers and far-right nationalists. "Once we were told that we have to hand out territories for peace, but contemporary Israelis understand we need a strong army and faith."

He objected to any agreements on core issues like withdrawing to the 1967 borders, before Israel annexed the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the Mideast War as well as land swaps, and said there would never be a compromise on Jerusalem.

Despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proclaimed support of the two-state solution, Bennet added that as far as he concerned, a Palestinian state would pose a "demographical threat" in Israel and flood it with Palestinian refugees.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians resumed in July after a three-year halt in negotiations, over Israel's construction in the settlements.

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