Haaretz reports: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu relayed a message to Syrian President Bashar Assad in January 2011, saying that he would be ready discuss Syria’s demand for a full Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, to June 4 1967 lines, on the condition that Syria agree to abandon its alliance with Iran and Hezbollah.
The indirect talks that were undertaken with American mediation did not yield results, however, and were abandoned by Israel in March 2011 after the extent of the rebellion against the Assad regime became clear.
Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot revealed for the first time on Friday morning the existence of secret contacts between Israel and Syria, that went on from December 2010 through March 2011. Indirect talks were undertaken by American envoys Dennis Ross and Fred Hoff, who passed messages between the two sides.
According to the report in Yediot Aharanot, Netanayhu agreed to withdraw from the entire Golan Heights, and return to June 4 1967 lines. According to a source who was intimately involved in the talks, however, in practice the prime minister’s proposal was slightly different. Netanyahu expressed willingness to discuss the Syrian demand for a full Israeli withdrawal, but only on the condition that Assad accept a series of Israeli demands regarding the military alliance between Syria, Iran and Hezbollah, as well as Syrian support for Palestinian terror organizations.