Report: US to Offer Israel Incentives to Negotiate

The US is preparing to offer incentives to Israel in exchange for a return to negotiations based on 1967 borders, Israel’s Maariv newspaper reported Friday.

US special envoy for the Middle East David Hale is reported to have said that the principles put forward in President Obama’s May 19 speech were "the only way to move forward" in the peace process, a secret cable obtained by Maariv said.

The cable reportedly contains information from a meeting in Brussels on June 24 between Hale and colleagues from the Quartet.

In the meeting, Hale is reported to have stated that Israel must agree to President Obama’s principles, but will receive something of value in return.

Despite Netanyahu’s public objection to 1967 borders as the basis for negotiations, the US administration believes that Israel is "open to possibilities" and will show flexibility.

"The US is firmly against any UN initiative" and is determined to prevent a Palestinian UN bid by finding ways to return to direct negotiations, Hale said.

He added that the Palestinians should be helped "to preserve the continuum of negotiations" and said the objective of unity talks was "to reach results in the reconciliation agreement with Hamas, that would enable the international community to continue work with them.”

The appointment of a Prime Minister and formation of a government acceptable to the international community is also a key objective for the Palestinians, the cable reported.

In response to the formula discussed by Hale, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is apparently seeking amendments and sent a special emissary to Washington on Wednesday to discuss the matter, Maariv said.

(Ma’an News)

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