By THE EMET REPORT: COMBINED SOURCES —
In the face of stiff Palestinian opposition, US Secretary of State John Kerry has stepped back from the American security plan for Israeli troops to secure the Jordan Valley border for an agreed period, in favor of deploying US forces, Washington sources report.
He also gave in to the Palestinians on two additional security safeguards: One, for corridors through the West Bank through which Israeli forces would move back and forth from the Jordan Valley; and, two, for Israel monitors to be posted at Palestinian-Jordanian border crossings as a counter-terror safeguard.
Instead, Kerry has come up with the notion of “remote Israeli monitoring” of the border posts by means of electronic gadgets.
The Secretary of State has therefore stripped the US framework for a peace accord of three vital elements for safeguarding Israeli security in a Palestinian state, before submitting it formally to the Israelis and Palestinians in the second half of January.
American and Israeli security experts agree that the revised Kerry security proposals would in practice enlist US soldiers out for the first time to defend Israel’s eastern border, a task for which the IDF is perfectly capable, only to gratify the Palestinian demand to remove any Israeli military presence from its potential territory.
The US would also find itself responsible for monitoring Israel’s border crossings to the new Palestinian state as well Palestinian-Jordanian border stations.
The Secretary appears to be in tune too with the Palestinian demand for the “safe passage” to connect the Gaza Strip to the West Bank to be realized in the form of an express train. This rail link would require Israel to sacrifice a slice of the Negev in the south and turn it over to Palestinian sovereignty, with no stops on the way for Israel security officers to inspect the traffic and freight being ferried between the two Palestinian entities. Washington has informed Israel and the Palestinian Authority that it has opted for a railroad rather than a tunnel link.
The Palestinians now demand that the train run all the way to Ramallah instead of terminating further south at Hebron. This would take it through Gush Etzion and so create a precedent for one of the Israeli settlement blocks to be bisected by a transport route under Palestinian control.
Our Jerusalem sources report that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has not so far rejected any of these “revisions” of the US security plan; neither has he accepted them.