Prominent Israelis offer ‘peace initiative’

Jerusalem – A group of prominent Israelis, including former high-ranking military and intelligence officials, has unveiled an “Israeli peace initiative” which it hopes will prod their government towards a deal with the Pales­tinian Authority – but few of the group’s proposals are new, and several have been rejected in the past by Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Al Jazeera reports.

The plan, unveiled on Wednesday, would call for Israel to withdraw to 1967 borders, with a series of swaps allowing it to annex major Jewish settlements in the West Bank. It would not provide a right of return for Palestinian refugees, though they would receive financial compensation; and it calls for normalised relations between Israel and Arab states. Palestinian officials have not commented on the plan; reactions from Israeli and pro-Israel groups has mostly been positive, but they have avoided commenting on specifics.

Israel continues to build illegally across those 1967 lines to which it is eventually supposed to withdraw. The Jerusalem planning committee on Monday gave initial approval for 942 new homes in the Gilo settlement in southern Jerusalem.

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