Palestinian Authority: Netanyahu Told Oman’s Sultan That Israel Prepared To Cede Land But Not Security Control
Palestinian Authority officials claim that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Oman’s Sultan Qaboos that his government is prepared to cede territory but not security control to Ramallah as part of any future peace deal. The premier in October traveled to Muscat, becoming the first sitting Israeli leader to visit the Sunni Gulf nation since shortly after the 1993 signing of the Oslo Accords. Following Netanyahu’s much-heralded trip, Oman’s foreign minister visited the West Bank to brief PA President Mahmoud Abbas on the development. If true, the news casts further doubt on the viability of President Donald Trump’s nearly two-years-in-the-making peace plan, whose highly-anticipated roll-out is expected at the beginning of next year and which the Palestinians already have rejected out-of-hand. Analysts near-uniformly agree that there is little chance Abbas will consider any agreement stipulating the long-term presence of Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. For his part, Netanyahu publicly has maintained that the IDF must retain in perpetuity full security control over the Jordan Valley, which he views as Israel’s prospective eastern border in the eventuality of a peace pact. While the American plan reportedly is complete, there is disagreement within the White House about the timing of its presentation given the PA’s ongoing boycott of the Trump administration and the political instability within Netanyahu’s governing coalition.