“The more involved the Americans get in the negotiations, the greater our differences with the Palestinians become.” That was what former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz (Kadima Party) argued, following the failure of the Kerry initiative to reach a diplomatic arrangement.
In an interview with Al-Monitor, Mofaz estimated that there would be an effort to renew the negotiations in the next few months. If it is an American initiative, however, this will only increase the difficulties that the parties face. “I was still in uniform when I attended the Wye River Summit, which led to the Protocol Concerning Redeployment in Hebron. Whenever the Americans were in the room and we had no direct access to the Palestinians, everyone spoke only to the Americans and as a result, became even more entrenched in their positions,” said Mofaz, the former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff. According to him, US involvement should include accompanying the talks and providing guarantees, but it is very important that the two parties speak directly to one another. In the last attempt, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did not even meet. Now Mofaz is calling for the implementation of a plan he presented in November 2009. His proposal calls for the creation of a Palestinian state on 50% to 60% of the territory of the West Bank as first stage, followed by a second stage of negotiations in a set time frame to resolve core issues. Mofaz did not rule out talks with Hamas in his plan either.