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Report: PA to Demand Divided Jerusalem in Paris Talks

PA official claims that Abbas to demand divided Jerusalem, 'refugee' compensation, terrorist releases in Paris talks. But is it true?
By Tova Dvorin and AFP
First Publish: 2/20/2014, 8:14 PM

Kerry and Abbas (file)
Kerry and Abbas (file)
Flash 90

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Paris on Thursday, for their second round of talks in two days.

The men met for two hours with their teams in an upscale Parisian hotel, where Abbas hosted Kerry for dinner and late night talks on Wednesday, US officials said.

The top US diplomat has spent months trying to get Israel and the PA to accept his framework for resolving their conflict, but the negotiations have shown little sign of progress.

There was no immediate comment on how the talks went, but US officials have insisted they are making progress despite the tough issues to be resolved.

The PA "ambassador" to Paris, Hael al-Fahum, told Voice of Palestine radio that Abbas "had outlined his vision of a peace which is based on international law". He also insisted there could be no deal without dividing Jerusalem and making it the capital of a Palestinian state and "a resolution of all the issues -- in particular security, refugees and the release of prisoners." 

The remarks follow a flurry of controversial reports, which include the US demanding a building freeze in Judea and Samaria and the possibility that current residents of the region will not be evicted from their homes if the framework is accepted. 

Little has trickled out about the details of Kerry's proposed framework to guide the talks forward. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times published some alleged details of the plan, which, he said, will call for a phased Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria based on the 1949 armistice lines, with "unprecedented" security arrangements in the strategic Jordan Valley.

Martin Indyk, American envoy to the peace talks, later revealed to American Jewish leaders that 75 to 80 percent of the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria would remain in their homes even after a permanent agreement. The agreement will include a reference to the incitement against Israel in the Palestinian Authority (PA) and will also include a reference to compensation for Jewish refugees who came from Arab countries. 

On Sunday, Abbas appeared to strike a conciliatory tone on two of the most divisive issues, saying he did not want to "flood Israel" with so-called “Palestinian refugees” and that there was no need to "re-divide" Jerusalem.

The comments were made during a meeting between Abbas and more than 300 Israeli university students at his Ramallah headquarters.

At the same event, however, Abbas accused Jews in Judea and Samaria of committing "murders".

"The settlers are cutting down trees, and wreaking destruction," he said. " They are not just settling our land, they are also killing us -- you must stop them!" he urged.