Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed Palestinian statehood with temporary borders, ahead of talks on Friday with a U.S. envoy, a Tel Aviv-based newspaper said. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has rejected past Israeli offers for a state with provisional borders, but the Haaretz newspaper said Netanyahu was proposing a new interim deal to try and lure him back to the negotiating table.
Netanyahu was said to be seeking a package deal with Washington to delay further discussion on settlements by forging a Palestinian state with provisional borders in exchange for which Israel would avoid unspecified "provocations". The package also called for Washington to agree to toughen its policies toward Syria and Iran, the newspaper said.
According to Reuters, Netanyahu reiterated on Thursday that he would not freeze settlement building in occupied East Jerusalem. "Our policy in Jerusalem will not change," he told Israel's Channel Two television. "There won't be a freeze in Jerusalem ... Why do I need to give up on Jerusalem?"