Inside a Jordan Valley kibbutz
Inside a Jordan Valley kibbutzFlash 90

Israel does not demand sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and for all practical purposes cedes this sovereignty, according to a report in the daily Maariv about ongoing talks in Jordan between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

According to an unconfirmed report by the paper's senior political writer, Ben Kaspit, the Prime Minister's emissary, Attorney Yitzchak Molcho, said at the talks that Israel does not demand sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and will be content with strict security arrangements along the Jordan River.

The Prime Minister's Office reacted to the report by calling it "a tendentious and distorted leak from the content of talks whose success depends on the discreetness that both sides committed to."

Asked for their response to the report, PA sources said that Israel demanded a military presence along the Jordan Valley for dozens of years, and that PA negotiator Saeb Erekat called the demand unacceptable and said it "exposes Israel's intention to make the occupation endless."

In a speech in the Knesset last year, Netanyahu laid out his principles for peace and security and did not include the traditional Israeli demand for sovereignty along the Jordan River.