Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu demanded that in the wake of a peace deal, US and Palestinian officials accept that settlers will be allowed to remain in Palestine, according to a document obtained by Israeli daily Haaretz.
The draft document was written to set the boundaries for negotiations during the US-brokered peace-talks in February 2014, just five months before the 2014 war on Gaza.
It contains an Israeli provision affirming the rights of settlers to remain in a future Palestinian state.
One of the reasons for doing so, and an argument that is commonly used by advocates of illegal Israeli settlers is that Israelis have every right to live on Palestinian land, the same way Palestinians reside in Israel.
This argument is constantly refuted for ignoring the power dynamics in the Palestine-Israel conflict, the oppressive nature of settlements and the detrimental financial and humanitarian effect settlements have on Palestinians in the West Bank.
The draft document had also shown Netanyahu refusing to identify a potential “state of Palestine”. Rather than wording the demand by recognising Palestine, Netanyahu had simply said Israelis have a right to remain “in place”.
Meanwhile, Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Palestinians and Israelis are “are closer than ever before to an agreement” during a TV interview with Israeli Channel 2 amid an announcement that Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are set to meet for negotiations with US President Donald Trump in July.
He had also expressed hope that “moderate Arab countries” would be able to intervene in the discussions, guaranteeing Israel’s demands.
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