Report: Barak, Abbas Spoke About Unilateral Withdrawal
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas secretly met with Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Jordan last Thursday, a source in the PA revealed to the Chinese news agency Xinhua on Monday.
King Abdullah II of Jordan also participated in the meeting which was held in Amman, the source added.
The meeting focused on efforts to resume peace talks between Israel and the PA as well as Abbas’ plans to seek state recognition through the United Nations, the report said.
Israel and the United States oppose the PA bid to the UN. Several weeks ago Abbas formally announced that the PA would ask the General Assembly to grant it "super-observer" status that could give it access to UN institutions and agencies.
The announcement, made in his address to the General Assembly, came a year after Abbas asked the Security Council to grant the PA full member status. That bid has failed due to a lack of support in the 15-member Security Council.
Meanwhile, the source said that Barak briefed Abbas on his initiative that envisages a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria. Abbas, however, reiterated his position against any plan envisioning a Palestine state with provisional boundaries.
Barak’s proposal, as recently outlined in a pre-Yom Kippur interview with the Yisrael Hayom newspaper, suggested that tens of thousands of Jews outside of population centers in Judea and Samaria would leave or remain under a Palestinian Authority government.