Six months into peace talks dominated by discussion about security, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority has proposed to Secretary of State John Kerry that an American-led NATO force patrol a future Palestinian state indefinitely, with troops positioned throughout the territory, at all crossings, and within Jerusalem.
Mr. Abbas said in an interview with The New York Times at his headquarters here over the weekend that Israeli soldiers could remain in the West Bank for up to five years — not three, as he previously stated — and that Jewish settlements should be phased out of the new Palestinian state along a similar timetable. Palestine, he said, would not have its own army, only a police force, so the NATO mission would be responsible for preventing the weapons smuggling and terrorism that Israel fears.
“For a long time, and wherever they want, not only on the eastern borders, but also on the western borders, everywhere,” Mr. Abbas said of the imagined NATO mission. “The third party can stay. They can stay to reassure the Israelis, and to protect us.