Israeli Media Report Peace Concessions
ISRAEL will propose compromises to Syria and the Palestinians in upcoming peace talks, including a possible territorial concession on the Golan Heights, Israel radio reports said Aug. 18.
The reports came as Arab delegations hesitated about attending next week's talks, complaining that Washington's decision to grant $10 billion in loan guarantees to Israel raises doubts about the United States role as an honest broker.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's spokesman, Gad Ben-Ari, refused to comment on the reported compromise offers. He said Israel expected all parties to show up at the negotiations starting Aug. 24 in Washington.
State-owned Israel radio said in an unattributed report that the government would propose an interim settlement with Syria including partial Israeli withdrawal from the Golan. Syria demands a complete Israeli pullback from the heights, which were captured in the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict and later annexed by Israel.
The Haaretz daily said the US has renewed a proposal to deploy American troops on the Golan during an interim phase, with a promise that Syria eventually would win back sovereignty.
In negotiations with the Palestinians, the Israelis want to focus on election of a Palestinian administrative council in the occupied territories, media reports said, possibly next spring.
The initial Israeli proposal said the council should have 13 to 15 members. But the Davar daily, quoting senior government sources, wrote Aug. 18 that Israel would agree to a substantial increase in the number of members.