Israeli senior ministers disagree on Quartet proposal


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s senior Cabinet ministers failed to reach an agreement on accepting a Mideast Quartet proposal to renew peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

The ministers met until the wee hours Wednesday but could not agree on accepting an initiative that is believed to have the backing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The proposal calls for a renewal of direct talks within a month, without preconditions, and to reach a final agreement by the end of 2012. It does not specifically mention settlement building, but calls on Israel and the Palestinians to “refrain from provocative actions.”

The Palestinians have not responded, but have expressed disappointment with the proposal because it does not call for a settlement construction freeze or for starting negotiations with the 1967 borders as a guide. 

The proposal is an attempt to get the sides back to peace negotiations before the United Nations Security Council votes on a Palestinian statehood bid submitted to the Security Council last week.

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