Additional details about US Secretary of State John Kerry’s security arrangement plans were revealed in a report by Galei Tzahal (IDF Radio) on Tuesday morning.
Kerry’s plans reportedly give Israel temporary control of the Jordan border, soon shifting control to the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The IDF will patrol the length of the Jordan border for the first few years of the US plan.
However, after a few years joint patrols will be held with PA forces, with the cooperation of the Jordanians on the other side of the river.
This aspect of Jordan Valley withdrawals in stages over 5 to 10 years matches the contents of Kerry’s secret plan revealed by journalist Baruch Yedid to Arutz Sheva earlier this week. Yedid’s revelations came from his extensive official and unofficial PA sources.
Israeli withdrawals in the plan appear to include large parts of Judea and Samaria, as the new report mentions Kerry’s intentions to build a massive border fence in the area.
Regarding the security threat, of what is feared by many to become a terror state in Judea and Samaria, Kerry’s plan would have the IDF deploy drones over the area to monitor terrorist activities and gather information.
Apparently the presence of drones in Judea and Samaria is the “creative security solutions” Yedid spoke of, when he noted that Israeli security sources added such “solutions” to meet US demands when submitting the plan to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
While Israel has said Kerry’s plan could be an opening for negotiations, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has rejected the plan, and further called an Arab League emergency meeting in which they rejected the plan as well.
Nevertheless, Kerry’s aids have reportedly rented 50 rooms in a Jerusalem hotel for January to mount a diplomatic “attack” on Netanyahu, forcing him to accept the plan of Israeli withdrawals. Yedid’s sources confirmed the reports, adding the Americans have also rented 2 or 3 stories in a luxury Jerusalem hotel for computerized equipment, maps and databases to aid their efforts.
Analyst Mark Langfan has called the plan a “death-trap” for Israel. Langfan added that the plan doesn’t even meet the minimum “defensible” borders presented in a secret 1967 US Joint Chiefs of Staff (USJCoS) memorandum, based on the military technology realities of 1967.
The radio station says the US has informed Israel and the Palestinian Authority that if negotiations between them do not advance, Washington will propose its own solution, that will include a US position on every point that is in contention. In effect, according to the report, this will be an attempt to force the sides to agree on a solution formulated by the US.
MK Zehava Galon (Meretz) was quoted as saying Monday that senior US officials told her the US offer would be presented in January of 2014. PA sources also cited January as the month in which the US intends to propose, or impose, its plan.
The US moves comes after three months of talks between the sides which have reportedly made very little headway.
The US plan reportedly is similar to the Clinton outline, offered by President Bill Clinton in late 2000, which is based on an Israeli retreat to 1949 Armistice lines, and some swaps of territory.
The Obama Administration is reportedly determined to achieve “a diplomatic breakthrough” by mid-2014, and believes that Israel under Binyamin Netanyahu and the PA under Mahmoud Abbas are capable of reaching agreement.
Until now, the talks were based on the idea that the two sides negotiate directly, with the US only acting as a mediator.
The American decision to present a proposed agreement was reportedly communicated by several senior officials, including the Special Representative to the talks, Martin Indyk. Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly briefed Netanyahu on the matter when they last met, in Italy.
IDF Radio reported this
US Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed after meetings with Palestinian Arab representatives in Bethlehem today (Wednesday) that the US stance on Jewish life in Judea and Samaria is condemnation, AFP reports.
“We consider now, and have always considered, the settlements to be illegitimate,” Kerry said, after Mahmoud Abbas reportedly walked out of Tuesday’s talks over Israel’s statements supporting a new initiative to build more than 3,500 new Jewish homes in the region.
Regarding the fact that Israel has kept up its side of a deal which exchanged the buildings for the controversial release of 26 Arab terrorists back into civilian areas, Kerry claims that “at no time did the Palestinians in any way agree, as a matter of going back to the talks, that they could somehow condone or accept” Jewish building efforts in Judea and Samaria.
Kerry did throw Israel a bone by responding that the US was “aware” of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s plan for renewed construction efforts.
Kerry’s remarks follow a tumultuous week between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, during which the released terrorists received a hero’s welcome and threats of a third intifada were launched. Such a striking statement is unlikely to encourage an already skeptical Israeli public to support ongoing US-brokered talks.
Many Israelis have long suspected the Obama administration of sympathizing with the PA position, and concerns were raised at the very start of the latest round of talks over the controversial appointment of Martin Indyk as mediator in the talks. A number of Israeli groups have claimed his work with the far-left New Israel Fund rules Indyk out as an “honest broker” between the sides.
The confirmation also follows reports that the US President made derogatory remarks toward Israel, and toward Binyamin Netanyahu in particular, during discussions about the conflict in 2012.
The US may possibly have vested interests in the talks’ success, as Obama has allegedly offered Israel support in efforts to stop a nuclear Iran in the event of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority