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Netanyahu Agreed To Return Golan: Report

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed to give back the Golan Heights to Syria in 2010, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

The daily quotes unnamed American sources as saying that in 2010 “Netanyahu agreed to a full withdrawal from the Golan, to the shores of Lake Kinneret, in exchange for a peace agreement with Syria.”

The initiative collapsed after the eruption of an internal struggle in Syria to oust its president, Bashar Assad.

The reported quoted the Prime Minister’s Bureau as saying the talk of withdrawal was “an American initiative, one of many discussed with Israel, which was not adopted at any stage.”

The report in Yedioth Ahronoth also said that Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, was supportive of the initiative. The Israelis “expected” a deal would mean the severing of ties between Iran and Syria, though this was not stated as an explicit demand, the paper reported.

The Americans quoted in the paper said the talks about the proposed deal were at an advanced stage and that the American side was “surprised by the willingness shown by Netanyahu, who offered the Syrians more than his predecessors.”

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