By Elise Labott
Secretary of State John Kerry will propose a framework for a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians when he travels to the region this week.
"During this trip, the secretary will discuss with both leaders the proposed framework for negotiations," deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Monday.
Harf said Kerry's framework would be guidelines for permanent status negotiations and would address all core issues.
Other officials, who briefed reporters before Kerry's ninth trip to the region, spoke on the condition of anonymity so they could be candid about the sensitive peace talks.
The proposal is based on five months of intensive consultations with the leaders since the resumption of the peace process this summer.
"We are not coming in with an American plan that would be imposed on the parties, but rather we want to have a detailed consultation with them about these ideas that have been generated as a result of the negotiations between the parties themselves," one of the officials said. "The secretary's trip this time is to start to test those ideas with the two leaders."
With direct negotiations between the two sides flailing, the United States seems to have moved into a more muscular role as mediator by presenting its own bridging proposals to the parties instead of relying on the Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate among themselves, which has born little fruit.
When he visited the region last month Kerry and retired Gen. John Allen, who has been working on Israeli security issues, presented Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with specific and detailed ideas on how Israel's security needs in the West Bank could be addressed in the context of an eventual peace deal with Palestinians.