Arab League sweetens peace deal, puts pressure on Israel’s P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu

The Arab League has sweetened a peace-making deal with Israel, putting the pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reignite talks with coalition members who have more moderate views on Palestinian relations.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheik Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani said on behalf of the Arab League that in exchange for a boundary for Palestinians based on pre-war 1967 lines, members would agree to “comparable” and “minor” land swaps, Ynet reported. Israelis and Palestinians could trade land parcels that were mutually agreed, he suggested, Ynet reported.

The concessions are aimed at opening talks with Israel on a peace plan that’s been in Arab League works for 10 years. The new plan lets Israel keep portions of the West Bank and east Jerusalem, Ynet said.

The proposal was welcomed in the United States.

It’s a “very big step forward,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in the Ynet report. “This is literally a statement by the Arab world that they’re prepared to make peace, providing the Palestinians and Israelis reach a final status agreement.”

The world is watching for Mr. Netanyahu’s reaction. A less-than-warm reception of the idea could indicate he’s not serious about talking peace, Ynet reported. His office did not immediately respond.

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