Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu back in 2014 demanded that the Obama administration negotiate the framework document for a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority to include a clause permitting Jewish settlements to remain under Palestinian sovereignty in the future Palestinian state, according to the draft documents revealed by Haaretz Sunday, and collaboration from senior US and Israeli officials who were involved in the talks.
According to the report, the Americans inserted the clause into the document, but it was eventually removed under pressure from Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) and senior Likud officials.
Apparently, most of the members of the Israeli negotiating team, headed by then Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, believed that leaving the settlers in a future Palestinian state was only hypothetical, both because they didn’t believe Jewish settlers would agree to remain in a Palestinian state, and the fact, were they to remain, it would create serious security problems.
But Netanyahu supported keeping the Jews in those few isolated settlements not to be included in Israel’s share of Judea and Samaria under Palestinian jurisdiction for three reasons: 1. If there’s an Arab minority with equal rights in Israel, there’s no reason why a Jewish minority should not have equal rights in a Palestinian state; 2. The PM believed that the leaving settlements in a future Palestinian state would solve some of the practical problems inherent in evacuating tens of thousands of them; 3. Netanyahu believed that integrating the principle of letting settlements remain intact under a future Palestinian state into the framework document drafted by Secretary of State John Kerry would help the PM overcome political opposition and prevent the collapse of his coalition.
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