Top U.S. negotiators in Israel to push talks


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Top U.S. negotiators are meeting with Israeli and Palestinian officials in a bid to restart talks.

Dennis Ross, the senior Middle East adviser to President Obama, and David Hale, the top envoy to the region, met Wednesday in Jerusalem and the West Bank with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, according to reports.

The Obama administration is pressing Israel to accept parameters for talks set out by the president in a May 19 speech; the Palestinian Authority says it has agreed to the principles.

These include negotiating on the basis of 1967 lines, with land swaps; a non-militarized Palestinian state; and accepting Israel as a Jewish state.

Netanyahu has resisted accepting the 1967 lines as a basis for talks.

On Wednesday, in a speech to the Knesset, he outlined his own framework for talks, which includes keeping Jerusalem united under Israeli sovereignty and maintaining settlement blocs.

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