Quartet Asks Israel for Incentives to Palestinians

Quartet envoys asked the Israeli Prime Minister to provide "confidence-building measures" to keep Palestinian officials in talks after the end of the month, Israeli media reported on Tuesday.

PLO official Saeb Erekat met Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molcho in Amman on Monday, in the second round of unofficial, closed-door talks hosted by Jordan.

Hoping to extend the meetings beyond the Jan. 26 deadline it had set in October, the Quartet and Jordan have called on Benjamin Netanyahu to consider freeing Palestinian prisoners and expanding the Palestinian Authority’s control, among other measures, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

Palestinian officials insist they cannot enter full talks with Israel until it freezes settlement building on occupied Palestinian land, saying this threatens the viability of the Palestinian state they would be negotiating for. There was no indication after Monday’s meeting that a settlement freeze was being considered by Israel.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Juda said the PLO gave Israel a proposal on borders and security issues at the first summit last Tuesday, and Israeli representatives promised to respond to the proposals in future meetings.

One more meeting is scheduled before the end of January.

(Ma’an News)

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