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New peace deal temple mount palestinian

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Last Update: 13/10/2003 08:21
Beilin associates: PM's office knew of negotiations

By Haaretz Service and Agencies

Sources associated with former Labor MK Yossi
Beilin, who took part in the negotiations that led
to the "Geneva Understandings," said Monday that
the Prime Minister's office was continally kept
updated on developments in the negotiations.

Sources in the Prime Minister's
office denied the claims.

The "Geneva Understandings" - a
draft memorandum for a
permanent Israeli-Palestinian
peace agreement formulated by
members of the Israeli
opposition and Palestinian
officials - includes allowing a

certain number of Palestinians to return to
areas inside the State of Israel, though not as
part of a "right of return."

Upon completing the draft of the agreement,
Beilin will concentrate efforts on gaining
local support among Likud, Shinui and Ultra
Orthodox MKs, Army Radio reported.

Beilin and others involved will also try and
draw international support for the agreement,
among current and former heads of state.

Under the terms of the agreement, the
Palestinians would be granted sovereignty over
the Temple Mount, and the area would be
monitored by international bodies. The Jewish
Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, as well
as the Western Wall, would remain under Israeli

The main points of the draft are as follows:

* The Palestinians will concede the right of
return. Some refugees will remain in the
countries where they now live, others will be
absorbed by the PA, some will be absorbed by
other countries and some will receive financial
compensation. A limited number will be allowed
to settle in Israel, but this will not be
defined as realization of the right of return.

* The Palestinians will recognize Israel as the
state of the Jewish people.

* Israel will withdraw to the 1967 borders,
except for certain territorial exchanges, as
described below.

* Jerusalem will be divided, with Arab
neighborhoods of East Jerusalem becoming part
of the Palestinian state. Jewish neighborhoods
of East Jerusalem, as well as the West Bank
suburbs of Givat Ze'ev, Ma'aleh Adumim and the
historic part of Gush Etzion - but not Efrat -
will be part of Israel.

* The Temple Mount will be Palestinian, but an
international force will ensure freedom of
access for visitors of all faiths. However,
Jewish prayer will not be permitted on the
mount, nor will archaeological digs. The
Western Wall will remain under Jewish
sovereignty and the "Holy Basin" will be under
international supervision.

* The settlements of Ariel, Efrat and Har Homa
will be part of the Palestinian state. In
addition, Israel will transfer parts of the
Negev adjacent to Gaza, but not including
Halutza, to the Palestinians in exchange for
the parts of the West Bank it will receive.

* The Palestinians will pledge to prevent terror
and incitement and disarm all militias. Their
state will be demilitarized, and border
crossings will be supervised by an
international, but not Israeli, force.

* The agreement will replace all UN resolutions
and previous agreements.

Members of the Israeli delegation upon returning
Sunday from talks with the Palestinians in
Amman, Jordan said that the initiative will be
released and signed during an international
conference to be held in Geneva next month.

Labor Chairman Shimon Peres refused to take part
in the agreement because it makes reference to
UN Resolution 194 that the Palestinians see as
the basis for their “right of
return,” and which Peres described as a
danger to Israel. Earlier Sunday it was
reported that the Palestinians had relinquished
their claim to a “right of return.”

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told Channel Two on
Sunday that the initiative is hampering the
ability to move forward in negotiations towards
a practical peace agreement. According to a
Channel Two report, Sharon has learned from
intelligence sources that Palestinian Prime
Minister Ahmed Qureia and his government intend
to adopt the Geneva understandings.

According to Labor MK Amram Mitzna, Marwan
Barghouti, the Tanzim chief standing trial in
Israel for alleged murder, was partly involved
in the initiative, while Palestinian Authority
Chairman Yasser Arafat and Palestinian Prime
Minister Ahmed Qureia were aware of it.

The negotiating teams, which included former
minister Yossi Beilin, Labor MKs Avraham Burg
and Amram Mitzna and Meretz MK Haim Oron on the
Israeli side and Yasser Abed Rabbo and Nabil
Qassis on the Palestinian side, began their
talks in Amman on Thursday. The draft was
finalized Sunday and the signing ceremony is to
take place in Geneva in several weeks time.

"The document provides solutions to final
settlement issues such as the status of Arab
East Jerusalem, frontiers, the establishment of
a Palestinian state and the right of returning
home of Palestinian refugees who were forced to
leave Palestine when Israel was founded in
1948," said the deputy Palestinian ambassador
to Jordan, Atallah Khairi.

Although the Jordanian government said that it
"had nothing to do with the meeting," reliable
sources said that the Israeli-Palestinian talks
were attended by Jordanian Foreign Minister
Marwan Muasher and other senior Foreign
Ministry officials.

The document was prepared over the course of a
year by Beilin and Abed Rabbo, with the
assistance of several professionals, and is
intended to draft a permanent peace agreement
to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat
has given his blessing to the dialogue.

The draft is based on the Taba agreements that
were drafted during the end of Ehud Barak's
term as prime minister in 1999, and former U.S.
president Bill Clinton's plan for the division
of Jerusalem between Israel and the
Palestinians, which included providing the
right of return for Palestinians in
humanitarian cases.

Sarid: 'it's a shame the government won't talk,
just shoot'
Meretz MK Yossi Sarid told Israel Radio on
Friday that he had participated in the
discussions on the draft, but could not leave
for Jordan to attend the signing ceremony for
personal reasons.

"We believe in these meetings, we think that
there is something to talk about and someone to
talks too, perhaps today more than ever, and it
is a shame that the government won't talk, just
shoot," Sarid said.

"These meetings were not carried out in an
underground manner or in the dark," Sarid said,
referring to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
accusations earlier this week that the Labor
and the left were cooperating with the
Palestinians "behind the back of the

Sarid explained that the meetings had to be
coordinated with the security establishment.

"I don't understand why the prime minister was
angered by the meeting near the Dead Sea...
Perhaps Sharon is scared that a terrible secret
would come out: that there is someone to talk
and something to talk about, and a significant
degree of goodwill on the part of the second
party, and that this is a time in which calm,
even relative calm can be achieved... We,
unlike him, are not afraid."

Health Minister Dan Naveh (Likud) dismissed the
Belin-Abed Rabbo agreement as a document that
"reeked of a bad odor."

"The opposition is negotiating behind the
government's back with the Palestinians, while
we are in a serious conflict with them, in a
war against Palestinian terror, which is
directed and encouraged by some of the people
with whom the left-wing officials have met,"
Naveh said.

"It is not the opposition's job to hold talks,
it is the government's job, and there are
reasons for the government to avoid
negotiations today with these people, Arafat's
people, who have been behind the campaign of
murder of terror over the past three years,"
Naveh said.

"Those people, Sarid, Beilin and the others,
were the architects of the Oslo agreements ten
years ago, which in my opinion the agreement
that brought this terrible catastrophe on us,"
he added.

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