Israel blames Palestinians for blocking US peace efforts



JERUSALEM, Charly Wegman - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has infuriated Washington with plans to expand settlements in east Jerusalem, on Sunday accused the Palestinians of blocking US peace efforts.
His remarks came after the Palestinians reiterated their refusal to hold even indirect talks without a complete Jewish settlement freeze and following a flare-up of violence in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.



Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem. (AFP/POOL/Ronen Zvulun)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem. (AFP/POOL/Ronen Zvulun)
"We continue to see that the Palestinians are hardening their positions. They do not show any sign of moderation," Netanyahu said at a weekly cabinet meeting.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has ruled out holding any talks with Israel unless it freezes settlement construction in the West Bank including mostly Arab east Jerusalem, seized and annexed by Israel in 1967.
On Sunday, Arab leaders backed his position at the end of a two-day summit in Libya attended by 14 of the 22 members of the Arab League.
"The resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations demands that Israel implements its legal commitments by stopping all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including east Jerusalem," their final statement read.
It insisted "on the need to have a timeframe for these negotiations and that they resume from where they left off and on the basis of what has been agreed upon in the peace process."
The statement also urged US President Barack Obama to keep up "his initial and key position" to work to halt Israeli settlement growth.
The impasse comes amid a surge of violence in Gaza, where two Israeli soldiers and, according to medics, one Palestinian, were killed on Friday in the deadliest clashes since Israel's 22-day war on Hamas ended in January 2009.
Another Palestinian was killed when tanks moved into the same area the next day, and witnesses said Israeli forces conducted a limited operation there on Sunday, though no clashes or casualties were reported.
A minister from Netanyahu's rightwing Likud party, meanwhile, warned Israel would eventually "liquidate" Gaza's Hamas rulers, who seized control of the territory after routing Abbas's forces in June 2007.
"I am not setting a timetable, but we will not tolerate this regime continuing to strengthen itself militarily," Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israeli radio.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said Steinitz's remarks "reflect the criminal intentions of the Zionist occupation government and confirm its continuing acts of state terrorism."
Earlier this month, Abbas reluctantly agreed to US-mediated indirect talks with Israel but the planned negotiations collapsed two days later when Israel announced plans to build 1,600 new settler homes in east Jerusalem during a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden.
The project set off a major diplomatic crisis with the United States.
But on Sunday, the White House insisted there was "no snub" of Netanyahu during his talks with Obama last week in Washington, and stressed the "unshakeable" US bonds with its Middle East ally.
"This was not about a ceremonial meeting. This was a working meeting. A working meeting among friends," White House senior adviser David Axelrod told CNN.
"There was no snub intended. Look, Israel is a close, dear and valued friend of the US. A great ally. That is an unshakeable bond," Axelrod said. He added however that "sometimes, part of friendship is expressing yourself bluntly."
A minister from Israel's centre-left Labour party, meanwhile, said it would meet next week to discuss quitting Netanyahu's coalition, a move that would leave the premier with a razor-thin majority in parliament.
Netanyahu has refused to halt construction in east Jerusalem, which Israel views as part of its "eternal, undivided" capital. No other government recognises its claim to the eastern sector of the city.
The premier imposed a 10-month halt on new construction in the West Bank in November, but the move was rejected by the Palestinians because it did not include east Jerusalem, public buildings and projects already under way.
A half million Israelis live in more than 120 settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including some 200,000 Jews living in east Jerusalem alongside about 270,000 Arabs.
Israel said it would restrict access to its territory from the West Bank for the week-long Jewish Passover holiday, which begins at sunset on Monday.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sunday, March 28th 2010
Charly Wegman
           



1.Posted by GOOD on 03/30/2010 12:48 AM
IN MY OPNION UNITED STATE IS OBSTACLE FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST . USA JUST DONT COME WITH

IDEA THE TRY TO FORCE THEY IDEA ON ISRAEL .WHICH ONLY GOING TO PRODUCE PECACE WITHOUT PEACE .
THIS PROCESS UNDER MINE ISRAEL SCURTY . THAT GAVE UP IN ORDER TO BE IN THIS "PEACE " FOR

EXMPALE IWITH OTHER PEOPLE . HILLARY CLINTON HAS APPROACH .THAT MAY DESTROY ISRAEL OR BRING

ANOTHER HOLCOAST . IN MY VIEW SHE TRY TO WIN POLTICAL GAIN . ON THE EXPENSE OF ISRAEL .ITS

EASY TO ATTACK ISRAEL ALL THE WORLD DOES AT 2.000 YEAR . I URGE ISRAEL NOT TO HAVE ANY DEAL

THE PEACE IS THER IF THE ARAB WILLNOT HAVE THE IDEA TO DESTROY .WITH HELP OF PEOPLE LIKE AP

NEWS . THE WORLD IGNORING ARAB TERRORISM . UNITED NATION IS ONE OF THOSE. INSTATION THAT

SUPORRT DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL .
GREENFELD MEIR

New comment:
Twitter

News | Hdhod authors | International press | Politics | Culture | Education | Interview | Features | Arts | Media | Science | Tech and WEB | Entertainment | Society | Travel | Investigation | Sport