PLO official Wasel Abu Yousef said Thursday that the diplomatic Quartet has proposed a series of measures to ease Israeli restrictions on Palestinians in order to restart stalled peace talks, according to news reports.
The plan asks Israel to increase Palestinians’ work permits for Israel, ease movement restrictions in the West Bank, allow Gaza to export to the West Bank and allow Palestinian police into Area B, currently under Israeli security control, according to a report in Israeli news site Ynet.
A second phase would allow the PA to develop gas reserves off the Gaza coast, release Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, allow international projects in Area C which is under Israeli administrative control and reduce Israeli army activity in Area A — under PA jurisdiction under the Oslo Accords but subject to regular Israeli army raids.
The Quartet proposal comes after a Jan. 26 deadline for recent exploratory talks in Amman to move to direct negotiations passed without agreement, and was posed to President Mahmoud Abbas during UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to Ramallah this week.
Abu Yousef said Abbas continues to insist that he will not return to talks without a freeze on Israeli settlement building on occupied Palestinian land. The president is headed to a meeting of the Arab League follow up committee on Sunday to decide Palestine’s next steps.