Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is considering a final status peace deal with the Palestinians that would require Israel to allow the creation of a Palestinian state on the 100 percent of the territory liberated by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.
According to the proposal, which was first reported on by Ha'aretz, Israel would retain control over several large settlement blocs in the West Bank, and in exchange transfer a number of Arab towns insider sovereign Israel to Palestinian control.
Olmert's office issued a denial of the original Ha'aretz report, but the newspaper got confirmation from aides to Israeli President Shimon Peres that the prime minister had in fact adopted the plan, which was formulated by their boss when he was serving as Olmert's deputy.
Meanwhile, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Monday's meeting between Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas had accelerated the establishment of a Palestinian state on Israel's biblical heartland.
“Abbas and Olmert discussed the fundamentals that will allow a Palestinian state to be established in an expeditious manner,” Erekat told Israel's Army Radio.