Palestinians Skeptical of Israeli Peace Offer | World| Breakings news and perspectives from around the globe | DW | 12.08.2008
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Palestinians Skeptical of Israeli Peace Offer

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has reportedly put forward a peace plan offering Palestinians nearly all the occupied West Bank, according to a newspaper report. Palestinians called the Israeli offer "baseless."

Palestinian youths stand underneath a Palestinian flag

Palestine alleges that the offer is not sincere

Israel is reportedly willing to turn over 93 percent of the occupied West Bank to Palestinians, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported on Tuesday, Aug. 12.

The catch would be that Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas would receive the land only if his forces were able to retake the Gaza Strip from the Islamist Hamas movement. Hamas seized power in the coastal territory in June 2007.

Israel's Haaretz newspaper said the proposed border is part of a broader plan to compensate Palestinians and will include a route connecting Gaza to the West Bank itself.

But Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said the report was "baseless," in an interview with AFP news agency.

"These are half-truths used by Israelis as a test balloon so they can blame the Palestinian authority should the negotiations fail," Erakat told AFP.

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