Report: Israel May Lease East Jerusalem Land

With the public negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority grinding to a halt, it seems that secret meetings are yielding more results. According to the London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, the United States has pitched a deal to Israel that would see it lease land in East Jerusalem from the Palestinians in exchange for the creation of an independent Palestinian state. The lease deal would be valid for 40 to 99 years. The report, based on an Egyptian source, called the negotiations "more quiet than secret, and are meant to try to save the peace process." It also said that the Palestinians were only recently made aware of the possibility and were not yet familiar with any details. The Israeli and American governments have yet to comment.