JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel has accepted the Mideast Quartet’s proposal to renew peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
The plan accepted Sunday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his eight senior Cabinet members would restart negotiations within a month without preconditions.
"Israel welcomes the Quartet’s call for direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions, as called for by both President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu," read a statement issued Sunday by the Prime Minister’s Office.
"While Israel has some concerns, it will raise them at the appropriate time. Israel calls on the Palestinian Authority to do the same and to enter into direct negotiations without delay," the short statement concluded.
The concerns included the short timetable for negotiations on border and security issues, and the issues of Palestinian refugees and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, Haaretz reported.
The inner Cabinet met last week for five hours and failed to agree to support the plan at that time.
The PA has balked at the Quartet plan, saying it will not return to talks until Israel freezes settlement building. The Palestinians recently submitted a bid for statehood in the United Nations Security Council, which the council is now considering. The United States has said it will veto the bid.
A U.S. State Department statement welcomed the Cabinet’s decision, but called on both sides to fully embrace the Quartet proposal. The State Department missive alluded both to Israel’s reluctance to accept the timetable and the Palestinian refusal to talk until settlement stops.
"The U.S. once again calls on both parties to resume negotiations without preconditions, on the timetable proposed by the Quartet, as the best means to advance their interests, resolve their differences, and fulfill the President’s two-state vision," it said.