JERUSALEM, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- The European Union is formulating a plan aimed at reigniting the long-stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which calls for far- reaching concessions from the former, the Yediot Aharonot daily reported Sunday, citing Israeli diplomatic sources.
According to the report, the plan being drafted calls for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the basis of the pre-1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital, with mutual territorial swaps.
To that end, the plan, which the paper termed "a diplomatic blitz," will set a clear and limited timetable for the parties to conclude negotiations on all core issues, such as borders, security and Palestinian refugees, in order to achieve a final status agreement in 2013, Yediot Aharonot said.
The foreign ministers of Britain and France are behind the initiative, with Germany reportedly in the background and providing its backing. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is reportedly mulling the possibility of making the plan the continent's official stance on the two-state solution to the conflict.
The plan, which would probably include a demand that Israel halt settlement construction, will be presented to the parties in March, after a new Israeli government is formed and U.S. President Barack Obama is sworn in for a second term, according to the report.
The Europeans are reportedly already engaged in talks with senior Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State-designate John Kerry, on the plan's tenets, and diplomats assess that Obama "will not resist a plan that matches his basic stand on the issue," the report said.
The spokesman for Israeli Foreign Ministry was not available for comments on the report, which said the EU is "mulling the possibility that the plan's parameters will form the basis for convening a regional conference to be attended by Egypt, Jordan and Gulf States."
"In such an event, Israel would be pushed to the corner and, in case it declines (to participate), it will be presented as rejecting peace," the report said.
A discussion recently held by the foreign ministry presented a document drawn up by its political research division which warned about a European attempt to force Israel and the Palestinians to reach an agreement in 2013.
"There is lots of hustle and bustle behind the scenes. The Europeans don't have the ability to impose an agreement on Israel, but they can certainly embarrass us," Yediot Aharonot quoted senior Israeli political sources as saying.
"They will place the document on the table as a challenge. The Palestinians will probably accept it, while it will be much harder for Israel to do the same. That will push us into a corner," the sources said.
News of the EU plan come amid growing debates over recently- announced plans by the Israeli government to build thousands of new houses in areas in and around Jerusalem. The majority of the construction would be in the controversial E1 corridor east of the city, a hilly area which connects Jerusalem to the West Bank city of Ma'ale Adumim.
While Israel contends that the areas in question, annexed after the 1967 Mideast war, would remain part of Israel in any future peace deal, Palestinians and their supporters consider the move a roadblock to resuming the long-stalled talks.
The announcement of the building plans, which ignited strong international opposition, came a day after the UN General Assembly on Nov. 29 voted to upgrade the Palestinians' status to that of a non-member observer state.
A string of Israeli ambassadors have since been summoned in their host countries for clarifications on the new plans, with the EU foreign ministries calling them an obstacle to the already moribund peace process.
Meanwhile, the Palestinians are reportedly attempting to initiate a special discussion in the UN Security Council on Jan. 23, a day after Israel's parliamentary election, to discuss Israel 's ongoing settlement expansion.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his deputy over the weekend to express Israel's objection to the Palestinian request.