There was a report in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz over the weekend of secret negotiations between Israel and Syria in Europe conducted from September 2004 to July 2006 that would be the bare bones of a possible peace agreement. It calls for Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, where a park would be established that Israelis could access freely. Israel would also control the waters of Lake Kinneret and the Jordan River, and Syria would end support for Hamas and Hezbollah and distance itself from Iran. But Olmert and other officials in Israel, as well as the Syrian foreign ministry have now denied such talks took place. It’s worth noting that July 2006 coincides with last summer’s Israel-Hezbollah War. So, perhaps there were talks that got scrapped during the war, and now relations between Israel and Syria are too icy for their officials to admit such talks ever took place.
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