At the invitation of Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are dining together in Washington Wednesday, before they resume challenging direct peace negotiations.
"WE NEED A POLITICAL DECISION"
"I want everybody to be very clear, the United States is going to be unwavering in its support of Israel's security. And we are going to push back against these kinds of terrorist attacks. And so the message should go out to Hamas and everyone else who is taking credit for these heinous crimes that this is not going to stop us."
President Barack Obama, Washington, DC. September 1, 2010.
“At the beginning of every peace initiative [Hamas] restarts the war,” says Middle East expert Frédéric Encel, a lecturer at France’s prestigious Sciences-Po University. “Its leaders know that they will not destroy Israel, but their objective is actually to break the Palestinian Authority, and replace it with a radical Islamic entity, as in Gaza.”
On Sunday, Netanyahu reiterated the three conditions to any peace agreement with the Palestinians, insisting primarily on the need for Palestinian recognition of Israel as "the state of the Jewish people.”
Partially frozen for nearly ten months, settlement activity could resume as early as September 26, when the current moratorium ends. The Council of Jewish settlements in the West Bank called for the immediate resumption of construction after the suspected Hamas attack.
The Mideast conflict
- Abbas seeks British apology for 1917 Jewish homeland declaration
- Israeli troops kill Palestinian assailant amid surge in violence
- Israel approves more than 400 new West Bank settlement homes
- The rise of political tourism in the Middle East
- Israel strikes Hamas targets in Gaza Strip after rocket attack
- Israel arrests UN Gaza employee 'for aiding Hamas'
- Egyptian foreign minister heads to Israel for rare visit
- Quartet calls for end to Israeli settlement construction
- Palestinian kills Israeli teen in West Bank settlement
- Israel’s ex-intel chief: ‘Together, we can do a lot to make Middle East a better place’
However, Encel says he remains optimistic. “Today we have two pragmatic and rational leaderships,” Encel says, adding that, “Israeli and Palestinian public opinion, in survey after survey, shows a majority of people want peace with an independent state for the other party. That should not be ignored.”
In a more optimistic development, Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak, said in the daily newspaper Haaretz that Israel was ready to cede parts of Jerusalem in the context of a peace agreement and the creation of a Palestinian state.
Date created : 2010-09-01