dinsdag 19 november 2013

Abbas wil vredesbesprekingen met Israel tot het eind uitzitten

 

President Abbas zegt dat hij de vredesbesprekingen uit zal zitten, maar erg enthousiast klinkt het niet:

“We are committed and we will go to the full nine months, and then we will take the appropriate decision, Abbas told AFP.

“We have committed to continue the negotiations for nine months, regardless of what happens on the ground,” he told the French news agency without elaborating.

Het klinkt eerlijk gezegd een beetje alsof hij vooral de gevangenen wil vrij krijgen, waarvan er immers nog twee rondes volgen, om daarna te stoppen vanwege de zoveelste aankondiging in de nederzettingen te bouwen. En Israel blijft die aankondigingen doen omdat het de rechterkant enigszins tegemoet wil komen. Zij geloven sowieso niet in de vredesbesprekingen en zien al helemaal niet waarom daarvoor gevangenen die voor dodelijk geweld tegen Israeli’s vastzitten, vrij moeten komen, nog voordat er iets is overeen gekomen en men een stap verder is. Wat dat betreft had men de vrijlating van de gevangenen beter kunnen laten afhangen van werkelijke vooruitgang in de besprekingen dan alleen de koppelen aan een tijdsschema. En had daarbij dan een maximum aan de bouw in de nederzettingen kunnen worden afgesproken. 

 

Kerry raakt in toenemende mate gefrustreerd door het uitblijven ven enige vooruitgang, en lijkt dit vooral aan de nederzettingen te wijten. De  onwrikbare Palestijnse posities en het binnenhalen van de vrijgelaten gevangenen als helden ziet hij kennelijk niet als problemen. Door die houding verliest Israel, dat ook niet erg enthousiast is, het beetje vertrouwen dat men nog had in de onderhandelingen en Kerry als onpartijdige mediator. 

 

Men zal de negen maanden wel uitzitten, maar het lijkt vooralsnog een kansloze zaak. De vraag is vooral hoe beide kanten ervoor kunnen zorgen dat zij niet de zwarte piet toebedeeld zullen krijgen. En in dit spel zijn de Palestijnen, met hulp van een hun sympathieke internationale pers en de VN, vaak handiger dan Israel. 

 

RP

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Abbas: Peace talks with Israel to run full course

PA president says Palestinians committed to negotiations ‘regardless of what happens on the ground’

 

http://www.timesofisrael.com/abbas-peace-talks-with-israel-to-run-full-course/

 TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF November 18, 2013, 1:27 am 4

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (Photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

The peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians will run their full course, “regardless of what happens on the ground,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday.

“We are committed and we will go to the full nine months, and then we will take the appropriate decision, Abbas told AFP, a day ahead of an official visit by French President Francois Hollande which is expected to focus on peace talks. Hollande arrived in Israel on Sunday for meetings with Israeli officials.

“We have committed to continue the negotiations for nine months, regardless of what happens on the ground,” he told the French news agency without elaborating.

Under heavy US pressure and following intense shuttle diplomacy by US Secretary of State John Kerry, Israel and the Palestinians resumed peace talks in July after a three-year hiatus, agreeing to a nine-month timeline, set to expire in March 2014. For the duration of the talks, the Palestinians agreed to suspend their efforts for international recognition and to not pursue Israel in the international legal arena. Israel committed to freeing 104 Palestinian prisoners who committed their crimes before the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993. The second phase of that agreement was completed late last month.

The negotiations have hit some hurdles so far, including an uptick in terror attacks perpetrated by Palestinians, with the latest incident occurring just last week when a 16-year-old Palestinian youth stabbed an 18-year-old IDF soldier to death while the latter was sleeping on a bus. Israel has also made continued announcements of planned construction in the settlements, the latest of which was swiftly scuttled last week by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Palestinian negotiating team resigned last week, blaming continued settlement activity. Three weeks earlier, Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator, and Mohammed Ishtayeh, had also tendered their resignation citing Israel’s “lack of integrity,” following Israel’s announcement that it intends to demolish 20 Arab-owned buildings in east Jerusalem.

Neither resignation was formally accepted by Abbas. “The delegation to the talks handed in its resignation which we have still not accepted,” he told AFP, adding that the PA leadership was still deciding what to do — either convince the team to return, or appoint a new one.

Earlier this month, Kerry launched an unusually bitter public attack on Israeli policies in the West Bank, and warned that if current peace talks fail, Israel could see a third intifada amid growing international isolation. He also said that calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions would increase in such a case.

“The Palestinian people know that the way to peace is through negotiation. But they also know we are insisting on Palestinian constants,” Abbas said, referring to Palestinian demands that an agreement be based on the 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, and a resolution to the Palestinian refugee problem created with the establishment of Israel in 1948.

“That is what the Palestinian people are asking us to get from the Israeli side. If we don’t get that, we won’t sign anything,” said the PA president.

 

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