Israel FM confirms interim Palestinian state plan
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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.


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

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