Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has decided to derail talks with Israel directly after the release of the second batch of jailed Palestinians next week. US Secretary of State John Kerry will try to head off the crisis in the talks he brokered earlier this year, by cajoling Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when they meet in Rome Wednesday, Oct. 23, to make Abbas an offer he can’t refuse, of sovereign Israel land.
DEBKAfile’s sources reveal that Kerry is thinking of a large chunk of Dead Sea coastal area and water, equal to about a third of the territory owned by Israel in this region.
On May 28, in an exclusive report, DEBKAfile first disclosed Kerry’s plan to save this Israeli concession for the final peace accord. He is now thinking of hauling it forward as bait to dissuade Abbas from walking out of the peace process.
But the Palestinian leader’s game plan entails more than this walkout, a step he has taken many times before. He is also unraveling the longstanding security cooperation with Israel for containing Palestinian terrorism.
This was the unspoken background to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s first – typically taciturn -remarks Tuesday, Oct. 22 about the latest bout of Palestinian terrorist attacks.