Netanyahu, Herzog agreed to territorial compromise in two-state solution

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog were discussing the possibility of establishing a unity government, the two drafted a joint declaration that they planned to present at a regional peace process summit in Egypt, according to Haaretz. The joint statement reflected that Israel is willing to agree to a territorial compromise in a two-state solution with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu and Herzog Photo Credit: Government Press Office/Channel 2 News

About half a year ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp) a draft of a joint declaration in support of a regional peace agreement, according to Barak Ravid of Haaretz. According to the report that was published this morning (Sunday), the document, which was supposed to be the basis for an Israeli unity government, showed that Israel is willing to agree to a territorial compromise in a two-state solution.

The report also states that three weeks after the document was sent to Herzog, Netanyahu started to back out of the proposal due to the political crisis surrounding the Amona evacuation. The two sides then broke off their contact with each other.

The document, which was sent to Herzog on October 13, was written in English and reads as follows:

1. We wish to thank President al-Sisi for his willingness to play an active role in advancing peace and security in the region and re-launching the peace process.

2. We reaffirm our commitment to a solution of two states for two peoples and our desire to pursue this solution.

3. Israel seeks an end of conflict and finality of all claims, mutual recognition between two nation-states, enduring security arrangements and an agreed territorial solution which, among other things, will recognize the existing population centers.

4. In the quest for peace, Israel extends its hand to the Palestinians to begin direct, bilateral negotiations without preconditions.

5. Israel regards positively the general spirit of the Arab Peace Initiative and the positive elements in it. Israel welcomes a dialogue with Arab states regarding this initiative, so as to reflect the dramatic changes in the region in recent years and to work together to advance the two-state solution and a broader peace in the region.

6. In the context of the renewed peace effort, Israel’s settlement activities in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] will be implemented in a manner that would facilitate a regional dialogue for peace and the goal of two states for two peoples.

7. Israel will work with the Palestinian Authority to significantly improve economic conditions and economic cooperation, including in Area C, and to enhance security coordination.

8. Israel seeks long-term stability in Gaza, including humanitarian reconstruction and effective security arrangements.

The document was the draft of the joint declaration that the two planned to present at an October summit in Cairo or Sharm el-Sheikh with the Egyptian President and most likely Jordan’s King Abdullah II in attendance. The same summit was supposed to mark the beginning of a regional peace initiative. Afterward, Netanyahu and Herzog planned to announce that they have entered negotiations to establish a unity government.

Several world leaders were involved in the process of drafting the declaration including senior level officials from Jordan and Egypt, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The Prime Minister’s Office stated in response that any claims about the regional peace process not being advanced are fundamentally wrong. Herzog’s office refused to comment on the report.



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