Peace process between Israel, Palestinians ambiguous

11:09, March 30, 2011      

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas chairs a meeting for the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the West Bank city of Ramallah on March 27, 2011. A Palestinian official on Sunday accused Israel of working to thwart President Mahmoud Abbas' initiative to visit the Gaza Strip to restore national unity. (Xinhua/Fadi Arouri)

by Osama Radi, Emad Drimly

In recent days, the political threats between Israel and the Palestinians have mounted as the two sides are far away from the negotiation table due to complicated differences that made the future between them ambiguous.

Although the United States had repeatedly attempted to bring the two sides together, the disputes over Jewish settlement still an obstacle before resuming the talks, which the Palestinians applied to the UN Security Council to condemn and finally vetoed by the U.S..

The Palestinians, meanwhile, insisted that Israel must stop settlement activities in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 war. They count on the international resolutions, mainly the draft resolution that 14 council members voted in February to condemn settlement.

Six months had passed since the U.S. had given a one-year ultimatum for an end of the Middle East peace process between Israel the Palestinians, however, amid the current stalled peace process, the slim hope remains that the two sides would reach a permanent peace agreement.


Saeb Erekat, former chief negotiator and a member of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee, told Xinhua that the Palestinian position is clear for all parties that "we want a peace process that is reliable, serious and has a meaning."

"The Palestinian side demands the end of settlement construction, defining a peace reference that based on establishing an independent Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, and setting up a time table for implementation," said Erekat.

While Erekat believes that it is time for making "decisive" decisions instead of wasting time on useless talks, Israel accused the Palestinians of imposing preconditions and refusing to return back to the negotiations table.

Since Israel and Palestinians had reached Oslo accords, the two sides had failed in the past 19 years in reaching a permanent peace agreement that ends decades of conflicts, and bitter feud goes up and down due to ongoing settlement activities and security measures.


Palestinian observers believe that the peace process is undergoing the most difficult and complicated time, and that it has become completely frozen since it is could not get back to its track due to Israel's settlement building.

Hsani al-Masri, a West Bank-based political analyst told Xinhua that the peace process "has failed," adding that "because it didn' t originally based on an Israeli commitment to end the military occupation of the Palestinian territories in accordance to the international law."

"The talks held over the past several years is under imbalance of power and amid an internal Palestinian split which didn't bring the Palestinians any benefits," said al-Masri, who ruled out that the two sides will resume the talks soon.

The Palestinians have threatened that if the peace process collapsed, they would use other diplomatic options, mainly gaining an international recognition of an independent Palestinian state at the United Nations in September, the end of one-year ultimatum.


Hana Amira, a member of the PLO executive committee said the Palestinian leadership is examining the idea of abandoning Oslo accords signed with Israel in 1993, saying that "the leadership would implement its commitments unilaterally as Israel doesn't recognize all the signed peace agreements."

The Palestinians consider September 2011 a decisive month, where they would gain all the merits of the peace process, mainly becoming a full UN member, declaring an independent Palestinian state and finalizing the establishment of the state.

However, Israel has threatened to carry out unilateral measures in case the international community recognize an independent Palestinian state on the territories Israel occupied in 1967. The Israeli Ha'arets Daily reported that Israel has held contacts with member states in the UN Security Council and applied a complaint.

Nabil Abu Rdineh, spokesman of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told Xinhua that Israel's threats won't succeed thanks to the growing international support to the Palestinian cause.

Allam Jarar, a lecturer in al-Najah University in Nablus in the West Bank told Xinhua that the disputes between Israel and the Palestinians would go to the international arena after they failed to achieve a progress in their talks, adding "Israel is apparently not interested in peace or in negotiations."

Source: Xinhua
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