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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Most land tenders announced during 'peace talks' were approved by Abu Mazen

David Makovsky, a member of Martin Indyk's 'negotiating' team, told an audience at the Begin-Sadat Center two weeks ago that most of the contentious land tenders announced during the 'peace talks' were actually approved in advance by 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen . This is from the first link.
During the nine months of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that ended in failure in 2014, 62 percent of Israel’s publicly announced tenders for housing beyond the Green Line were earmarked for the 1.9% of West Bank land that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had once consented would remain in Israel’s hands.

David Makovsky, who was a member of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s negotiating team during this period, pointed out this little-known fact during a speech Tuesday at a conference on US-Israel relations that took place at Bar- Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

Makovsky, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said that Israel was more “geographically cautious” with settlement announcements during the negotiating period than many realize.

“It would have been helpful if that could have been made public,” Makovsky said, explaining that for political reasons that was not a possibility.

This geographic caution was not stated publicly but was the policy.

Announcements of settlement plans during this period were a huge bone of contention, with former US Mideast envoy Martin Indyk, who headed the team Makovsky was a member of, placing much of the blame for the breakdown of the talks on Israel’s settlement policies. He said during a speech last year that “rampant settlement activity – especially in the midst of negotiations – doesn’t just undermine Palestinian trust in the purpose of the negotiations, it can undermine Israel’s Jewish future.”

In 2008 Abbas reportedly turned down an offer by thenprime minister Ehud Olmert for Israel to annex 6.3% of the West Bank to incorporate the major settlement blocs into Israel in exchange for 5.8% of land within Israel and the corridor from the West Bank to Gaza. Abbas reportedly countered with a proposal for a 1.9% land swap, apparently the area where most of the housing tenders were announced during the 2013- 2014 negotiations.
Isn't it amazing that the Israeli government chose not to deflect John Kerry's pressure by pointing this out at the time?

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