Secret back-channel talks with a Palestinian negotiator during the past year achieved agreements on borders and refugees but fell apart when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas disavowed the unauthorized contacts.
“Substantial progress” was made, but the negotiator had been acting on his own, and when the results were presented to the Palestinian Authority leader, he refused to back him up, according to Haaretz on Thursday.
The negotiations took place prior to and during Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to renew peace talks.
Israeli negotiator Isaac Molho and his unnamed Palestinian counterpart were said to have worked out solutions on borders and refugees, but not on Yerushalayim.
It was not clear why the talks had proceeded to such an extent without official authorization from the Palestinian side.
According to reports, the negotiators “came up with a formula in which Israel would accept the 1967 borders (with land swaps).” In return, the Palestinians would show flexibility regarding Netanyahu’s insistence on recognizing Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people (while clarifying that such recognition would not abridge the rights of Israel’s Arab citizens).”
Neither Yitzhak Molho nor his negotiating partner would comment on the report.