maandag 2 december 2013

Palestijnen blijven dreigen vredesoverleg te verlaten

 

De aankondiging 20.000 huizen bij te bouwen over de groene lijn is ingetrokken, maar de sfeer is er bepaald niet beter op geworden, en volgens de Palestijnen gaan de plannen stilletjes toch door. Wederom dreigen zij uit de onderhandelingen te stappen:

Last week, senior Palestinian official Nabil Shaath said negotiations with Israel have already failed, and that the prospect of freeing Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails is all that’s keeping the talks alive. Top negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters that the world needs to get tough with Israel over its continued settlement building to ensure the remaining five months of talks won’t be wasted.

De wereld is al ‘tough’ genoeg met boycots, anti-Israel resoluties in de VN, discriminitoire richtlijnen van de EU, en de ontmoediging van bedrijven om ook maar iets over de groene lijn te doen. Het blijkt niet te helpen. Het maakt op Israel weinig indruk meer dat de rest van de wereld vindt dat men uit de Westbank moet ophoepelen. Dat komt voor een deel omdat er daarbij nooit naar Israels argumenten en grieven wordt geluisterd. Wanneer iemand een beschuldiging, terecht dan wel onterecht, blijft herhalen en jouw tegenargumenten negeert, luister je op een gegeven moment niet meer. Daarbij komt dat deze internationale kritiek en druk als zeer onrechtvaardig en ongepast wordt ervaren. En dus zet men de hakken in het zand. Een begrijpelijke, zij het niet altijd verstandige reactie.

Intern is er overigens wel kritiek op het beleid van de regering-Netanyahu, en dat biedt meer perspectief dan al die internationale veroordelingen. Jammer alleen dat door de houding van de internationale gemeenschap en de Palestijnen de critici van Netanyahu het zo moeilijk hebben. Wanneer de internationale gemeenschap naast de eeuwige kritiek op de nederzettingen ook eens een paar Palestijnse obstakels zou benoemen, zou dat de interne critici enorm vooruit helpen, en daarmee het vredesproces. Niet luisteren naar de Palestijnen dus.
 
RP
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‘Palestinians threaten to end peace talks’
Channel 2: PA officials tell US that if recently announced settlement construction isn’t frozen, they’ll walk
 
December 1, 2013, 9:59 pm
 
 
A view of the Jewish West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim, with the controversial E1 tract in the background (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
A view of the Jewish West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim, with the controversial E1 tract in the background (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
 
 
The Palestinians told US Secretary of State John Kerry that they’ll terminate negotiations with Israel forthwith unless Jerusalem halts a plan to build 20,000 housing units over the Green Line, Channel 2 reported on Sunday.

According to the report, furious Palestinian officials sent a clear message to Kerry, apparently over the weekend, that if Israel doesn’t freeze the settlement construction plans as stated, they will no longer attend any more peace negotiations.

As proof that the construction process is still going ahead, despite Israel’s claims to the contrary, the Palestinians noted that the projects in question were still listed as active on the Israel Housing Ministry website at the end of last week, the Channel 2 report said. The unnamed Palestinian officials regarded this as a broken promise by Israel and by the Americans, who had attempted to calm the situation after the announcement of the settlement construction plans last month.

The Prime Minister’s Office, however, insisted that the construction plans were halted, as promised.

Last month the Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) announced tenders for some 20,000 units in the West Bank and the controversial E-1 corridor near Jerusalem – setting off an international outcry, which led Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to order Ariel to pull the plug on the plans.

Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians restarted in late July. Although they have continued out of the media spotlight, reports have mounted that that two sides have reached an impasse.

Last week, senior Palestinian official Nabil Shaath said negotiations with Israel have already failed, and that the prospect of freeing Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails is all that’s keeping the talks alive. Top negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters that the world needs to get tough with Israel over its continued settlement building to ensure the remaining five months of talks won’t be wasted.

Earlier Sunday evening, former prime minister Ehud Olmert launched an attack on Netanyahu’s settlement construction policies, saying all of Israel’s security concerns — including that posed by Iran — could be solved by reaching a lasting peace agreement with the Palestinians.

“The key to any strategic situation in the Middle East and the Iranian problem is to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians,” he said during a a panel discussion at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

The former prime minister also railed against the Netanyahu government’s approval of thousands of settlement housing units, saying such a move could only set back negotiations with the Palestinians.

“A government which announces the construction of 5,000 new housing units is not conducting serious negotiations for peace,” Olmert remarked.

 

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