Report: US draft envisions 15-year IDF
presence in W.Bank
Arabic-language daily reveals content of US security suggestions for Israel-PA. Document proposes radar posts in mountains, IDF in Jordan Valley, joint patrols of border crossings
Elior Levy, ynetnews.com, Dec. 10, 2013
The US security outline for any proposed peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will include a 15-year interim agreement, Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley, and radar posts on West Bank mountains, the pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat reported Tuesday.
The report noted the US administration shared its security proposals with PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Agreements on this issue will lead to a presentation of an outline for an interim political agreement as early as next month.
The report quoted senior Western diplomatic sources who described a long-term interim agreement during which the IDF will remain in its current outposts in the Jordan Valley, protect the roadways to them, and will man new and current radar posts on West Bank mountains.
A joint Israeli-Palestinian command will be established at the border crossings with Jordan, which will operate joint patrols of the border. International forces will also be stationed in the valley and will assist in maintaining the agreement.
A reassessment of the Israeli presence will be conducted in 15 years.
The report noted that the Palestinians – for the time being – have agreed to the international presence in the Valley. It clarified that IDF soldiers could only operate in the area until the gradual withdrawal of Israeli forces from the West Bank.
According to the report, Abbas clarified to US Secretary of State John Kerry that an Israeli presence limited to a period of three years or less could be accepted by the Palestinians.
The secretary-general of the PLO’s central council, Yasser Abed Rabbo, warned on Monday that the American security suggestions might lead the sides into a deadend and towards a failure of the talks.
He accused Secretary Kerry of extorting the PA and claimed that the top US diplomat wanted to delay the release of prisoners in order to reach a framework for a potential deal.
The new security plan that U.S. Secretary of State Kerry presented to Palestinian President Abbas last week calls for Israel to maintain a military presence in the Jordan Valley for a period of 10 years, the Palestinian daily Al Ayyam reported Tuesday. Kerry’s proposal also includes an “invisible” Israeli presence at the border crossings between Jordan and the future Palestinian state. The Palestinians are vehemently opposed to Kerry’s security proposal. Israel also has reservations regarding the U.S. proposal. (Ha’aretz)