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Erekat submits proposal to Kerry to end Israeli occupation

Sept. 4, 2014 9:54 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 5, 2014 10:05 A.M.)
WASHINGTON (AFP) -- US Secretary of State John Kerry met for over two hours with Palestinian negotiators for "constructive" talks on future relations with Israel, a US official said.

It was Kerry's first face-to-face talks with Palestinian negotiators since Washington found itself sidelined from the Gaza ceasefire talks in July, when the top US diplomat failed to broker a truce in the war between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

"Kerry met with Saeb Erekat and Majid Faraj for about two hours this afternoon," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

"It was a constructive conversation that covered a range of issues, including Gaza, Israeli-Palestinian relations, and recent developments in the region," she said, adding they had agreed to talk again in coming weeks.

Senior PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat submitted a proposal to end Israel's decades-long occupation and establish a Palestinian state, including a timetable for Israel's withdrawal of military forces.

The talks come just days after Israel announced its biggest grab of Palestinian land since the 1980s, and as a new showdown looms at the United Nations with the increasingly frustrated Palestinians planning to push a resolution setting a three-year deadline to end the Israeli occupation.

The PLO now intends to seek a UN Security Council resolution setting a three-year deadline for ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

But the resolution will likely be voted down by a veto from the US which has long opposed unilateral moves by the Palestinians to seek statehood.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report
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