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Israel: Obama to announce new peace plan soon

July 16, 2009 4:39 P.M. (Updated: July 17, 2009 4:28 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma’an/Agencies - A peace plan with a strict timeline may be announced by the new US Administration in coming weeks, Israel’s English and Hebrew daily Haaretz newspaper reported Thursday.

The paper quoted a “Western diplomat closely involved in current contacts involving the US, Israel, the PA and moderate Arab states,” as saying Obama aides are developing a peace plan with a binding timetable.

An ease on US, and now international, demand for a halt to settlement construction was rumored to be the carrot for Israeli participation in the talks, which would tackle the final status issues of borders, water, refugees and Jerusalem.

Talks were cut off following Israel’s launch of the Gaza war on 27 December 2008, which lasted 22 days and saw 1,505 Gazans killed. Since the war Palestinian negotiators have held their position on a total settlement construction freeze or no return to talks.

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