Report: Olmert ready to cede Golan


Israel reportedly has agreed to withdraw from the Golan Heights as part of a peace deal with Syria.

Shams-Press, a semi-official Syrian news Web site, reported Wednesday that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed in principle to a Turkish plan for renewed peace talks between Jerusalem and Syria.

The negotiations, according to Shams-Press, would be predicated on Israel’s willingness to return the Golan to Syria.

Olmert’s office declined comment on the report, which caused an uproar in the right-wing opposition and among some members of the Israeli coalition government.

Olmert has voiced willingness to restart talks with Syria that stalled in 2000, but on the condition that Damascus first disengage from Palestinian terrorist groups, Lebanese Hezbollah and Iran.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has conditioned new negotiations on Olmert accepting his bedrock demand for a full return of the Golan, which Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.


Recommended from JTA