Mitchell presents US land swap plan that leaves Israel settlement blocs in place – report

Western sources report that President Barack Obama’s Middle East envoy George Mitchell presented Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas with a new American plan for swapping territory when they met in Ramallah Wednesday June 10. debkafile‘s sources report that this plan holds the prospect of leaving the major Jewish West Bank settlements blocs under Israeli sovereignty in return for handing Israeli land to the Palestinians.
This plan indicates that expectations of a major crisis between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government over the settlement issue were exaggerated. It means that if the large Jewish blocs and East Jerusalem districts are to stay in Israeli hands, Washington will have no cause to object to their expansion to accommodate population growth.
Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be delivering a major speech Sunday evening, June 14, at Bar Ilan University in which he promises to spell out his government’s positions on peace and security. Tuesday night, he and the US envoy held a four-hour discussion, half of that time without advisers.

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