U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry introduced a new plan proposal for security arrangements in the West Bank Thursday in hopes of pushing forward the stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Israeli media reported.
Kerry is visiting Israel to push both sides to move along in the negotiations, which have been reportedly stuck due to Israel's ongoing construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem settlements, Xinhua reported.
Kerry and his special adviser General John Allen, who accompanied him, presented the plan to both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Thursday morning and then to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting held in Ramallah on Thursday afternoon.
Allen has been spending field time talking with security officials in both Israel and the Palestinian government to try to work out disagreements over security-related disputes in recent months.
Many reports said Israel is insisting on several security issues and would not move on to discuss other topics until those are resolved, whereas the Palestinian negotiations team is frustrated with the lack of progress since the talks resumed last July, after a three-year halt.
The main security topics are questions of space control over the West Bank and Israel's apparent demand to keep several other security posts throughout the West Bank at sensitive spots, among others.
The Israeli Channel 10 news reported Thursday evening of some clauses out of the plan, including land swaps and "Greater Jerusalem" to be the capital of the two states - so that the Palestinians could declare east Jerusalem, which was annexed to the municipality in 1967, their capital.
According to reports by Palestinian media outlets, Abbas rejected the plan, citing an official Palestinian source.
"The Palestinian side rejected the (ideas) because they would only lead to prolonging and maintaining the occupation," the official said.
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