Palestinians demand changes to US top diplomat John Kerry's Middle East peace plan

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories,(AFP) - The Palestinians demanded on Thursday that changes be made to United States Secretary of State John Kerry's Middle East peace plan, following a meeting in Ramallah, an official said.

"Fatah wants to make some alterations to Kerry's plan... because the proposed ideas are not encouraging for a return to negotiations," a top official of the party of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas said.

"The central committee is demanding, for a return to talks... that Kerry announce they should be based on the 1967 lines," said Mr Amin Maqbul, secretary-general of the ruling Fatah movement's Revolutionary Council.

The vote came after two rounds of intensive talks between Mr Kerry and Mr Abbas, who is also Fatah leader, on Tuesday and Wednesday, in which they thrashed out the plan.

It was the top US diplomat's sixth visit to the region in as many months to try to broker a compromise formula to allow a resumption of direct peace talks after a three-year hiatus.

Israel had rejected Palestinian demands for a publicly declared freeze to all settlement construction in the occupied territories as a condition to resume talks, and Mr Abbas and his negotiating team had referred those terms to the Palestinian political leadership.

The rejection by the leadership of Mr Abbas's own Fatah movement of the blueprint meant that its planned referral to the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, which also includes dissident factions, was unlikely to go ahead.

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