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Israel is under mounting pressure to make a far-reaching offer to the Palestinians or face a UN vote welcoming the State of Palestine whose territory includes all of the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem.

Israel, seeing the prospect of even more hostile governments as its neighbors, is insisting on caution. It also wants to build in extensive long-term security guarantees in any two-state solution. “Does the world think it is going to force Israel to declare the 1967 lines and giving up Jerusalem as a basis for negotiation?” asked a top Israeli official. “That will never happen.”

“Whatever we put forward has to be grounded in security arrangements because of what is going on regionally,” said former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Zalman Shoval. “We are facing the rebirth of the eastern front as Iran grows strong. We have to secure the Jordan Valley. And no Israeli government is going to move tens of thousands of Israelis from their homes quickly.”

(Ethan Bronner – New York Times)

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