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How Condi Rice may have tied Netanyahu's hands

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How Condi Rice may have tied Netanyahu''s hands

Post by Sonshine on Thu May 21, 2009 1:39 am

How Condi Rice may have tied Netanyahu's hands –

Ensured talks would begin with offer of most of West Bank, parts of Jerusalem

JERUSALEM – Has former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice limited the negotiating power of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his upcoming talks with the Palestinian Authority?

According to sources in Netanyahu's camp, President Obama communicated in his meeting with Netanyahu Monday that he expects Israeli talks with the Palestinians to begin where negotiations left off during talks led by Israel's former leader, Ehud Olmert.

According to multiple reports, Olmert offered the Palestinians a state in much of the West Bank and peripheral sections of eastern Jerusalem.

Following his meeting with Netanyahu, Obama said he had told the new Israeli leader during more than two hours of talks that his government must move quickly to resume peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

In an instructive announcement, Obama said he had insisted negotiations start from a previous points negotiated on the establishment of a Palestinian state.

"We have seen progress stalled on this front, and I suggested to the prime minister that he has a historic opportunity to get a serious movement on this issue during his tenure," Obama said.

"That means that all the parties involved have to take seriously obligations that they have previously agreed to," he said.

WND broke the story in November that Rice had collected notes and documents from Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams to ensure Obama's incoming administration will not need to assist in negotiations from scratch.

Rice's State Department assembled the notes concerning issues on which both sides are close to an agreement, according to informed Israeli and Palestinian sources who spoke to WND in November.

WND reported at the time Rice's move could limit the incoming Israeli prime minister, since the Palestinian Authority can point to notes documenting points of agreement by Olmert.

While Olmert's non-finalized decisions during negotiations are not binding for the next prime minister, documents noting agreements during previous Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have been used – at times as starting points – in subsequent talks.

According to both Israeli and PA sources, American officials took detailed notes of talks at U.S.-brokered negotiations at Camp David in 2000 and then used points of agreement on key issues, such as borders, during the current round of intense Israeli-Palestinian talks, which continue this week.

Informed Israeli and Palestinian sources told WND that under Olmert, Israel and the PA were quietly working to conclude a major agreement seeking an eventual major West Bank withdrawal and the granting of permission to the PA to open official institutions in Jerusalem. The agreement would have postponed talks on the future status of the capital city until new Israeli and U.S. governments were installed.

Just before he departed his post, Olmert gave a major interview to Israel's Yediot Aharonot newspaper in which he revealed he had offered the Palestinians a state in about 94 percent of the West Bank and that he had been negotiating the handover or sections of Jerusalem.

He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
Proverbs 28:19[b]

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