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Abbas to meet Israeli Peace Initiative signatories
President Mahmoud Abbas invited the leadership of the Israel Peace Initiative to PA government headquarters in Ramallah, where he will hear out their presentation of a regional peace initiative, organizers said Wednesday.
According to a statement from the group, the presentation is being made as an attempt to push a negotiated peace deal rather than a PA move at the UN seeking unilateral statehood in September.
Prominent supporters of the deal include businessman Idan Ofer, former Israeli military chief of staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, former Labor party politician Dani Yatom, founder of the Haredi College of Jerusalem Adina Bar-Shalom, former Israeli ambassador to South Africa Alon Liel, Professor Aliza Shenhar and drafter of the plan Koby Huberman.
A statement from the group said there were more than 70 other leaders who had also signed on.
The group will meet with Abbas at noon on Thursday, less than 12 hours after officials in Cairo announced a unity `understanding` between rival parties Fatah and Hamas, which would see the creation of a technocratic government to oversee the transition to the first government elections since 2006.
The plan is largely based on the Arab Peace Initiative, stating that under the scheme `Israel accepts the API as a framework for regional peace negotiations and presents the IPI as an integrated response to the API, and as a vision of the regional final-status agreements to be negotiated and signed between the Arab states, the Palestinians and Israel.`
A demilitarized Palestinian state within agreed upon borders using international forces to police borders and maintain security. Borders would be based on pre-1967 armistice lines, include the creation of territorial contiguity between the West Bank and Gaza through land swaps that could not exceed 7 percent of the West Bank.
Jerusalem would be the capital of both states, with Jewish areas under Israeli control, and Palestinian areas under Palestinian control. The plan notes that `special arrangements shall be implemented in the Old City, ensuring that the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall shall be under Israeli sovereignty, with religious sites being overseen by an Israeli-International committee .
Refugees and host countries including Israel would be compensated under an agreed-upon formula, with Palestinians permitted to return to areas under Palestinian control, while a `mutually agreed-upon symbolic exceptions who will be allowed to return to Israel.`
Israel would withdraw from the Golan Heights over a period of five years, and peace deals would be struck with Syria and Lebanon, recognizing those nations` right to exercise full territorial control.
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