Top 5 issues on the table for Israeli-Palestinian talks

These are the five most central issues that Israel and the Palestinian Authority need to address in the latest round of peace talks, which began Sept. 2.

5. Borders

Baz Ratner/Reuters
Israelis take part in the construction of a structure on the West Bank Jewish settlement of Beit Hagai near Hebron in a show of defiance of a partial government freeze on Jewish settlement building September 2.

Palestinians seek a sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, with a capital in East Jerusalem. They want Israel to remove the West Bank settlements housing more than 300,000 Jews and end its military presence there.

The United Nations (UN) has declared Israeli settlements illegal, but Israel expects to retain at least some of them in any final deal. Some officials have proposed land swaps that could include Israeli Arab towns going to a future Palestine in exchange for Israeli Jewish areas being incorporated into Israel’s borders.

More immediately, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extend the Israeli settlement freeze set to expire Sept. 26. Mr. Netanyahu has given no indication that he plans to do this.

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