According to Haaretz, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has told Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas that he would like to negotiate an “Agreement of Principles,” which would include the basic characteristics of a PA-run state in much of Judea and Samaria. While Abbas has repeatedly asked to discuss points of conflict right away, Olmert prefers to discuss the nature of a PA state before negotiating issues such as the new state’s borders and the control of border crossings.
Olmert said that the PA state would be located in most of Judea and Samaria, as well as Gaza. If he and Abbas manage to reach an agreement, he said, Abbas could use it as an elections platform, while Olmert would work to get Knesset approval. The most sensitive issues, such as the status of Jerusalem and the PA’s demand that millions of foreign Arabs be allowed to “return” to Israel, would be discussed later, he said.