Monday, August 1, 2011

Israel 'ready to negotiate borders with Palestinians'

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has bowed to US pressure by agreeing for the first time that a Palestinian state should roughly follow the contours of the 1967 ceasefire lines separating the West Bank from Israel.

The offer, which emerged tonight appeared to represent a major climb-down by Mr Netanyahu, who has consistently refused to discuss specific borders of a future state.

A government official in Jerusalem told The Daily Telegraph the offer was dependent on the Palestinians dropping their campaign for statehood at the United Nations next month and accepting Israel as a Jewish state.

The offer appears to cross Palestinian red lines, and it seemed likely to be rejected — although the onus is now likely to be placed on the Palestinians to present a counter offer.

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