Yearender: 2010 sees Mideast peace process stuck in loop

16:38, December 20, 2010      

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by Yuan Zhenyu, Adam Gonn, Hao Fangjia

More than a year has passed since the beginning of Israel's unilateral 10-month freeze on Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank, and the thorny issue still haunts the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

While the world is criticizing Israel for building plans in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, this year is ending, again, with no talks or goodwill between Israelis and their Palestinian neighbors. People in this corner of the conflict-torn Middle East are about to see another year passed with few signs of peace.

There had been several rays of light as the parties, for the first time in years, engaged in direct talks under U.S. auspices. But when Washington announced the end of discussion with Israel over new settlement freeze -- in fact, also the demise of direct talks -- in early December, this year's peace efforts went all the way back to where it started, with meager tangible results to show from the last 12 months.

Many pinned their hope on U.S. President Barack Obama's administration. But the first two years of his term has shown that it will take more than outside -- and sometimes clumsy -- pressure to tackle the decades-old feud.

After all, only when all parties involved have the sincerity and goodwill to break the deadlock can the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks break the vicious cycle of hope-to-despair-to-hope.


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