Israel ‘Ready to Negotiate Borders with Palestinians’

We’ll see how this goes…

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has bowed to US pressure by agreeing for the first time that a Palestinian state should roughly follow the contours of the 1967 ceasefire lines separating the West Bank from Israel.

The offer, which emerged tonight appeared to represent a major climb-down by Mr Netanyahu, who has consistently refused to discuss specific borders of a future state.

A government official in Jerusalem told The Daily Telegraph the offer was dependent on the Palestinians dropping their campaign for statehood at the United Nations next month and accepting Israel as a Jewish state.

The offer appears to cross Palestinian red lines, and it seemed likely to be rejected — although the onus is now likely to be placed on the Palestinians to present a counter offer.

Mr Netanyahu reacted angrily when the 1967 proposal was made by Barack Obama in May but was now said to be offering to trade Israeli territory on its side of the line for West Bank land where its main settlements were located.

“We are willing in a framework of restarting the peace talks to accept a proposal that would contain elements that would be difficult for Israel and we would find very difficult to endorse,” said an official, answering a question about the Obama proposal.

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