Sunday, September 18, 2011

Quartet to propose a framework that calls for recognition of Israel as a Jewish State and timeline for negotiations

(IsraelHayom).The U.S. and the Quartet of Middle East negotiators are working feverishly to get Israel and the Palestinians to relaunch peace talks in a last-ditch attempt to prevent a showdown over the Palestinian bid to seek recognition for an independent state at the U.N. later this week.

The Quartet on the Middle East, including the U.N., EU, Russia and the U.S., is slated to meet Sunday and has threatened to present a diplomatic framework even without the approval of Israel and the Palestinians. The Quartet is expected to urge the two sides to return to the negotiating table within a specific timetable. The group's statement is also expected to call for the creation of an independent Palestinian state on the basis of 1967 borders and will also refer to Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.

The idea is that a new Quartet statement would specify that new Israeli-Palestinian negotiations would begin within four to six weeks -- with a specified end date, either in six months or a year.

"The Palestinians seemed open to it," Wexler said, cautioning that no side had made any commitments to support such a statement. "The Israelis are less excited about the timeline, but they understand the Palestinians can't just have an open time frame."