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Meretz promotes peace plan to replace Oslo

Sept. 25, 2012 3:15 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 26, 2012 3:42 P.M.)
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Israeli political party Meretz is promoting a peace plan to replace the Oslo Accords, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Tuesday.

"Without determining who is to blame for what, the Oslo process must be replaced by a new paradigm," Meretz chairwoman Zahava Gal-on was quoted as saying.

The leftist party is proposing that Israel declares, without preconditions, that the conflict be resolved by ending the 65-year occupation of Palestine along 1967 borders with 1:1 land swaps.

Israel would also freeze all settlement building for as long as was required for peace negotiations to take place.

Jerusalem would be divided based on Bill Clinton's parameters of Jewish neighborhoods to Israel, Palestinian neighborhoods to Palestine, according to Haaretz.

Israel would be the first country to recognize the new Palestinian state, according to the Meretz proposal.

The plan also calls on Israel to support the main points of the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, which proposed normalized relations between Israel and Arab states in return for a full Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories.

US-sponsored peace talks unraveled in 2010 after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Palestinian demands that he extend a partial construction freeze on illegal settlements.

Netanyahu has called the 1967 borders indefensible and said the future borders and the fate of settlements should be discussed in negotiations and not serve as preconditions for talks.

Israel should pull out unilaterally from much of the occupied West Bank if a peace deal with the Palestinians remains out of reach, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in an interview published Monday.

"It seems as if they're talking about a temporary state based on small separated areas whose valleys are controlled by Israel … they are avoiding talking about Jerusalem and the wall which is confiscating Palestinian lands and giving legitimacy to settlements," PLO official Abu Yousef responded to the plan.

Israel has occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights since 1967.
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