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Molcho 'suggests Israel could give up Jordan Valley'

Jan. 30, 2012 9:50 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 31, 2012 12:32 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s special envoy Yitzhak Molcho has informed the Palestinians in Amman that Israel will be ready to give up the Jordan Valley as part of the final status solution, an Israeli newspaper reported Monday.

Hebrew-language Maariv reported that Molcho suggested during the exploratory meetings in Amman that Israel would agree to abandon control on the Jordan Valley in exchange for intensive security measures at the Jordan river.

Commenting on the report, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office said that such leaks "are meant to distort the negotiations which both sides agreed to keep secret and to avoid leaking information to media outlets."

Meanwhile, Palestinian officials told Maariv that Israel requested to maintain control of the Jordan Valley for 10 more years.

However, the Israeli source which Maariv quoted, confirmed that Israel preferred intensive security measures at the Jordan river to maintaining control of the Jordan Valley.

Maariv highlighted that Netanyahu had referred in a recent speech before the Knesset to security measures at the Jordan river as a guarantee to Israeli security.

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