Israel FM confirms interim Palestinian state plan

Last Updated: Monday, January 24, 2011 - 23:15

Jerusalem: Israel`s foreign minister
confirmed on Monday that he has drawn up a plan for the creation
of an interim Palestinian state with temporary borders in the
absence of a full peace agreement.

Avigdor Lieberman argued that an interim arrangement was
the only option, saying the Palestinians have turned down
previous Israeli offers and no agreement is possible at
present.

"There is no other way. We must go back to an interim
agreement," he told Israel Radio, adding, "The plan is ready."

He offered no details and did not say when and if the
plan would be made public.

A government official said yesterday that the plan would
turn over up to 50 per cent of the West Bank to the
Palestinians. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the
plan has not been finalised.

The Palestinians want the entire West Bank, east
Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, as part of their independent
state. They reject the idea of interim borders, fearing they
would become permanent.

The outspoken Lieberman often acts independently of
Israel`s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been
trying to draw the Palestinians back to direct talks on a
final status deal.

After a long period of deadlock, talks resumed in
September, 2010, only to collapse three weeks later when an
Israeli settlement freeze expired.

The Haaretz daily reported yesterday that Lieberman has
presented his map to Netanyahu, but the prime minister`s
office would not confirm the report, and Netanyahu spokesman
Mark Regev said the Israeli leader remains committed to a
final accord.

PTI



First Published: Monday, January 24, 2011 - 23:15

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