Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is willing to cede 90% of the West Bank to the Palestinians in a peace deal with the proviso that Israel’s security needs are met according to the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz. In a story citing only anonymous sources, the paper reports that Netanyahu is aware that discussing borders will come sooner rather than later if US Secretary of State Kerry succeeds in jump-starting the talks with the Palestinians. Nevertheless, Netanyahu’s security conditions are seen by many as being farther than the Palestinians are willing to go, demanding that the Palestinian state be demilitarized and maintaining an Israeli military presence along the Jordan Valley. Against the backdrop of Likud party internal elections, some pundits see Netanyahu losing the political base he would need in order to be able to deliver any peace agreement that includes a massive pullout from territory acquired in the 1967 war that is home to hundreds of thousands of Israelis. Meanwhile, SecState Kerry arrives in Israel on Thursday for his fifth shot at moving Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Abbas back to the negotiating table after more than four years of stalemate. Word is that Kerry will tell the parties he intends accomplish that part of his mission before the opening of the United Nations session in September. Many see the fall as the perfect time for a public relations opportunity: the 20th anniversary of the Oslo Accords.
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