Opposition leader Isaac Herzog agreed to unprecedented concessions to the Palestinians in secret meetings on the eve of the 2015 elections, according Israeli media reports on Sunday.
Herzog reportedly signed a secret letter of understanding with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in which he agreed to cede 100 percent of the land of Yehudah and Shomron conquered by Israel in 1967 with 4 percent in land swaps, divide Yerushalayim including the Old City and a symbolic “right of return” for Palestinian refugees with financial compensation for the majority.
Regarding Yerushalayim, the letter called for a shared capital under split sovereignty, but that would be administered by a single municipality. The Kosel was to remain under Israeli control, while Har HaBayis would be placed under international supervision.
He was a candidate for prime minister and had no authority to negotiate with the Palestinians. Although he lost the election to Binyamin Netanyahu, at the time of the negotiations with the Palestinians he was still doing well in the polls and was considered likely to be the next prime minister.
Herzog did not deny the report. He said in response that “In my contacts with [Abbas] during 2014 I made efforts with the goal of reaching an understanding that would have prevented the wave of terror which I saw coming; [efforts] just like the work I am doing now to prevent this radical right-wing government’s abandonment of the regional conference plan from bringing upon us a new war.”
In exchange for Herzog’s concessions, Abbas accepted a “symbolic” Israeli presence in the strategically critical Jordan Valley region along Israel’s eastern border.
As for terrorism, the document outlined a joint security ‘mechanism’ composed of Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian forces.