Discussion & Updates on Palestinian statehood bid

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by Hembo, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. SajeevJino
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    SajeevJino SENIOR MEMBER

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    Israel says 'Iron Dome' proving itself against Gaza rockets

    Israel says its unique "Iron Dome" short-range air defence system is performing well, intercepting the vast majority of rockets fired at southern cities in the latest barrage by Gaza militants.

    So far three experimental batteries have been deployed since March 2011 -- around Ashkelon, Ashdod and the Negev desert capital of Beersheva, which have a combined population of more than half a million.

    Experts say that a total of 13 batteries are needed to give a full nationwide umbrella.

    By Monday afternoon, Palestinians had fired more than 200 rockets and mortar rounds from Gaza into southern Israel since a latest round of fighting erupted on Friday, the military said.

    Gaza emergency services said that at least 23 Palestinians had been killed and 73 wounded since Friday as Israeli launched 36 air strikes against the territory.

    On Monday, 31 rockets headed for urban centres were targeted by Iron Dome, which scored 23 hits, the military said, a 75 percent success rate.

    "The system is working very well," Brigadier General Doron Gavish briefed reporters at one of the batteries in the vicinity of Ashdod, 25 kilometres (15 miles) from the Gaza border.

    "Rockets shot at the cities of Israel are being intercepted by the warriors who are operating the system," said Gavish head of Israel's national air defences.

    Visiting a battery on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of the system's "impressive achievements."

    "You are doing exceptional work," he told its crew. "I take the Israeli peoples hat off to you."

    The system, the first of its kind in the world, was developed by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defence Systems with the help of US funding. It is designed to intercept rockets and artillery shells fired from a range of between four and 70 kilometres (three and 45 miles).

    Each battery comprises detection and tracking radar, state-of-the-art fire control software and three launchers, each with 20 interceptor missiles, military sources said.

    Militants in Gaza and Lebanon's Hezbollah militia have fired thousands of rockets at Israel in the past.

    The first batteries were deployed facing the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, from where militants have repeatedly fired improvised rockets, prompting Israel to launch a devastating 22-day offensive into the territory in December 2008.

    It is later to be deployed along the Lebanese border, from where Hezbollah militants fired some 4,000 rockets into northern Israel during a 2006 war. It was that experience which prompted the development of Iron Dome.

    Israel believes Hezbollah now has an arsenal of some 40,000 rockets.

    But a complete deployment is expected to take several years.

    Iron Dome joins the Arrow missile defence system in an ambitious multi-layered programme to protect Israeli cities from rockets fired from Gaza or Lebanon, or missiles fired from Iran or Syria.

    "It is a new tool being brought into the basket of tools... a tool we didn't have before," Gavish said.

    "We have something new in the arena that obviously plays in our favour."

    The defence ministry says a third system, known as David's Sling, is currently being developed with the aim of countering medium-range missiles.
  2. Ishmael
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    Ishmael FULL MEMBER

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    For your information when the UK took over the area from Turks after WW1 they made 2 territories, one for jews and one for Non Jews. Before the 48 war the UN wanted to further devide the Jewish side. But that was not enough, so arab nations invaded, lost the war and Israel was born. My family fought with the Jews against the Lebenese back then. Well the place we know as Jordan is the non jewish nation that resulted. I dont understand when these Hamas, and fatah organizations will be content. There are 22 muslim nations in the middle east, can there be one secular democratic nation that allows freedom of religion for all? The highest mean income, highest mean education level?
  3. SajeevJino
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    SajeevJino SENIOR MEMBER

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    Well Known About your Run for Israel...Lot of lifes are losses during that Run..............I am always on your Side Jewish........
  4. SajeevJino
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    SajeevJino SENIOR MEMBER

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    Israel-Egypt peace pact under threat

    The Islamist-dominated Egyptian Parliament's moves to cut ties with Israel after Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip has heightened Israeli and U.S. fears post-Mubarak Egypt will scrap the historic 1979 peace treaty between the Jewish state and Cairo.

    That U.S.-brokered pact, the first between Israel and its Arab foes, transformed Middle Eastern geopolitics and over the years has become a linchpin of regional stability. If it is abrogated by Egypt's newly empowered Islamists it will refocus Arab hostility toward the Jewish state as its grapples with Iran's alleged quest for nuclear weapons.

    The political triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood, the most powerful of Egypt's Islamist groups and the godfather to just about every Muslim militant organization in the Middle East, in post-Mubarak elections threw the continuation of the treaty deeply in doubt. Now controlling the largest party in Egypt's Parliament with 47 percent of the 508 seats, the Muslim Brotherhood's senior figures refuse to recognize Israel.

    Deputy leader Rashad Bayoumi declared in January that Israel "is an occupying criminal enemy." He said the party, outlawed under Mubarak, will take "legal action against the peace treaty with the Zionist enemy" and plans to have a national referendum on the issue once a new government is formed.

    On Monday, the People's Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, demonstrated what probably lies ahead: a growing push to limit the president's wide executive powers while boosting that of the Islamist-dominated legislature.

    That would supposedly make it easier for Parliament to abrogate the peace treaty, or at least make major amendments, such as lifting restrictions on the number of troops Egypt can deploy in the Sinai Peninsula buffer zone.

    Egypt lost Sinai in the 1967 Middle East war but regained it under the peace treaty.

    The house voted unanimously to support expelling the Israeli ambassador -- his predecessor fled after a mob stormed his embassy and torched it -- recalling Egypt's envoy from Israel and halting exports of natural gas to Israel.

    The vote, which followed a report by the chamber's Arab Affairs Committee that described Israel as the country's "No. 1 enemy," is largely symbolic. But it signals major changes are likely ahead.

    The four-day fighting in Gaza, in which 20 Palestinians died in Israeli airstrikes, underscored the growing tensions between the Jewish state and Egypt, which controlled Gaza until Israel captured it in 1967.

    Gaza, a hotbed of Islamist militancy, borders Sinai where Cairo has lost control of security since the Feb. 11 downfall of President Hosni Mubarak, a U.S. ally and staunch supporter of the Israeli treaty, in a pro-democracy uprising.

    Mubarak's departure after 30 years of dictatorial rule, and the toppling of other dictators in the political convulsions of the Arab Spring, heightened Israel's isolation and left the landmark pact on shaky ground.

    Although the interim military regime backs the pact, largely because of the $3 billion in U.S. aid it brings, it remains widely unpopular among Egypt's 82 million people.

    Even so, in January the Muslim Brotherhood gave the United States assurances that the peace deal would be maintained.

    Many analysts say the Muslim Brotherhood isn't prepared to go to war with Israel and the Jewish state certainly wants to avoid conflict, particularly while it's locked in a struggle with Iran, seen by many Israelis as an existential threat.

    But there have been signs since the Muslim Brotherhood's sweeping electoral gains that it remains uneasy about the treaty.

    A recent surge of anti-U.S. sentiment in Egypt, particularly the crackdown on four U.S.-funded organizations accused of interfering in Egyptian politics, doesn't augur well for Cairo's relations with Israel.

    The episode also heightened tension between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has been in charge since Mubarak stepped down.

    The council has shown little desire to change relations with Washington, which Islamists generally view with deep suspicion and hostility.

    The council's Feb. 29 decision to lift a travel ban on 43 activists, including 16 Americans, accused of receiving illegal foreign funds, defused an embarrassing diplomatic standoff with Washington but incensed the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Critics claimed the council bowed to Washington's wishes and pressured judges to let the foreigners go to avoid a confrontation with the United States, which the chamber's Arab Affairs Committee branded Egypt's "No. 1 enemy."
  5. Averageamerican
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    Averageamerican Lt. General ELITE MEMBER

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    If Egypt scraps the historic 1979 peace treaty does that mean Gaza and the Suez Canal and the part of Egypt that Israel occupied once again belongs to Israel? Seems like a good deal for Israel.
  6. ColdPlay
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    ColdPlay FULL MEMBER

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    Hamas should be disarmed before Palestine gets Statehood.
  7. Ishmael
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    Ishmael FULL MEMBER

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    Hamas is the elected government in Gaza, that is a problem. Israel never wanted Gaza, the Sinai was a nice resource supply but hard to control. Israel had very few settlement there and too many soldiers. It was considered a good trade for peace. As we are seeing this peace lasted 20 years, now the MB is screaming about the Zionist enemy in Cairo. The sad thing is there will always be an evil minded group stiring up the masses. Sad but true. This given Israel can not give away any more land. With Gaza Hamas can launch rockets deeper into Israel. Not to Tel Aviv, But give up some more and they'll be a target also.
  8. SajeevJino
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    SajeevJino SENIOR MEMBER

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    Islamic Jihad seeks 'balance of terror' with Israel


    Gaza militant group Islamic Jihad seeks to create a "balance of terror" with Israel, a senior member of its military wing has told AFP in an exclusive interview.

    Speaking shortly after a truce ended a four-day flare-up in violence between Gaza militants and Israel, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigade hailed the fact that it forced "a million Israelis to hide in shelters."

    The leader, who goes by the nom-de-guerre of Abu Ibrahim, also warned that the Brigades possesses long-range weapons that could hit the Israeli city of Tel Aviv and could be used in its next conflict with the Jewish state.

    "What we seek with our rockets is not to kill Israelis, but to maintain a balance of terror," he told AFP during the interview, conducted at a secret location, flanked by armed bodyguards.

    "The fact that a million Israelis were stuck inside shelters and suffered as as our people do is more important for us than deaths."

    The latest violence between Israel and Gaza militants began on March 9, when Israel's assassinated the commander of the Popular Resistance Committees group.

    In response, militants led by the Al-Quds Brigades fired a barrage of rockets into southern Israel over the course of four days, bringing life in much of the region to a standstill.

    Israeli war planes carried out dozens of air strikes, killing 25 people, among them 14 members of Islamic Jihad.

    Around 250 rockets were fired from Gaza, according to Israeli figures, with around 60 of them intercepted by the country's Iron Dome missile defence system.

    Authorities banned large gatherings in the area, including sporting events, and closed schools during the outbreak of violence.

    The rockets hit throughout southern Israel, with some reaching around 40 kilometres (24 miles) inside the country. One struck just north of Gedera, which is only about 25 kilometres from the centre of Tel Aviv, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half the Jewish state's population of 7.84 million.

    Abu Ibrahim warned that the Brigades had weapons that could hit beyond the town of Ashdod, which lies some 35 kilometres (20 miles) north of Gaza.

    "If the occupation targets any leader of any Palestinian group whatsoever or any citizen, the Brigades will respond with force and expand the reach of the response beyond Ashdod," he said.

    The group possessed "thousands" of rockets and had expanded its arsenal by exploiting "the opportunities offered by the (Arab) revolutions, particularly the fall of the Egyptian regime," he added.

    Still, he said, "it is not easy to transport sophisticated weapons into Gaza," adding that 70 percent of its rockets "are made locally by a specialised section."

    "We now have guided missiles similar to Grads and we used them during the last conflict."

    Abu Ibrahim also denied tensions with Hamas, which rules Gaza and sought a quick end to the latest conflict and kept its fighters out of the battle, saying: "The Brigades operate with full freedom."

    And he denied "any coordination with any outside group, in Sinai or elsewhere."

    But he acknowledged the group receives "fundamental support" from Lebanon's Hezbollah group, saying it had trained thousands of Brigades fighters.

    He said the group was not receiving weapons from Iran, as Israel has charged, but praised Tehran's "great support," citing funds it gives to the families of "martyrs" and the wounded in Gaza.

    But he suggested that Islamic Jihad would not get involved if Iran were to come under attack, unless Gaza was also targeted.

    "We're nothing but a drop of water in the sea, and Iran doesn't need us. It's a strong country militarily," he said.

    "Our fundamental fight is in Palestine," he said. "But if the Zionist enemy hits Iran and Gaza at the same time, we will respond with force."
  9. SajeevJino
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    SajeevJino SENIOR MEMBER

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    Islamic Jihad rockets can hit Tel Aviv: armed wing

    The Gaza-based militant group Islamic Jihad has weapons that can reach Tel Aviv, a member of the group's armed wing the Quds Brigades has told AFP in an interview.

    The Quds Brigades fired most of the rockets that hit Israel in the past week's four-day conflict between Gaza militants and the Jewish state.

    A member of the armed wing, who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Ibrahim, said the group was ready to expand the reach of its rocket fire beyond the Israeli town of Ashdod, which lies some 35 kilometres (20 miles) outside Gaza.

    "If the occupation targets any leader of any Palestinian group whatsoever or any citizen, the Brigades will respond with force and expand the reach of the response beyond Ashdod," he told AFP.

    "The enemy is aware of the range that the Brigades rockets can reach," he said, adding that the Quds Brigades possessed "many thousands" of rockets.

    Islamic Jihad took the lead in attacking Israel during the recent confrontation, which began on March 9 with Israel's assassination of the commander of the Popular Resistance Committees militant group.

    By the time a truce was announced on Tuesday, 25 Palestinians had been killed -- many of them from Islamic Jihad -- and at least 250 rockets had been fired into Israel, around 180 of them launched by the group.

    Some rockets landed nearly 40 kilometres inside Israel, not far from the outskirts of Tel Aviv.

    A lone rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel during the first 12 hours of Friday, the Israeli military said, as the fledgling truce firmed up.

    Abu Ibrahim said the Quds Brigades have "developed long-range rockets and if the aggression returns, they could be used to reach towns far beyond Ashdod."

    Abu Ibrahim said the group was receiving significant help from Lebanon's Hezbollah organisation, which he said provides "fundamental support" to the Quds Brigades, particularly by "facilitating the training of fighters."

    Another Quds Brigades member, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, said "certain resistance groups, including the Quds Brigades, have Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 missiles, with a range of 60-110 kilometres."

    "But they are not for use unless Israel targets an important figure," he said.

    He also claimed that Gaza militants possessed SAM-7 missiles which he said had been fired at Israeli helicopters last year.
  10. SajeevJino
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    Obama calls Palestinian president Abbas

    US President Barack Obama called Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on Monday and assured him that the peace process remains a top priority for him, Abbas's spokesman said.

    "President Obama informed president Abbas about his meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and assured him that the Middle East peace process has been his top priority since he came to office," Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP.

    Abu Rudeina said the leaders also discussed "exploratory talks" that Palestinian and Israeli officials held in Amman earlier this year, as well as reconciliation efforts between Abbas's Fatah party and the rival Hamas movement.

    Abbas "informed President Obama about the contents of a message he will send to the Israeli prime minister," Abu Rudeina added, without giving details.

    The White House said that Obama told Abbas that all parties needed to reinforce efforts that produced a truce to end fighting between Israel and Gaza militants, and thanked the Palestinian leader for his contribution.

    "The two leaders agreed on the necessity of the two-state solution, and President Obama noted that Jordan's efforts to foster direct discussions between Israel and the Palestinians are an important contribution to the cause of peace," a White House statement said.

    Talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been frozen since September 2010, and the decades-old conflict has become overshadowed by the uprising in neighbouring Syria.

    Negotiators from both sides held five rounds of "exploratory talks" in January under the sponsorship of Jordan and the Middle East peacemaking Quartet, with the aim of finding a way back to direct negotiations.

    But the talks ended inconclusively, with the Palestinians accusing Israel of failing to present concrete proposals on borders and security as requested by the Quartet, which groups the US, UN, EU and Russian diplomats.

    Many observers say there is no prospect for a breakthrough until after the US presidential election in November.
  11. SajeevJino
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    SajeevJino SENIOR MEMBER

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  12. Anish
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    Anish Lt. Colonel SENIOR MEMBER

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    What is palestine? Just another bullshit demand by muslim terrorists.
    It is the holy land of Israel that will be supreme.
    2 people like this.
  13. SajeevJino
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    Fears of new Palestinian intifada mount


    A call by imprisoned Palestinian icon Marwan Barghouti for his countrymen to launch a new wave of civil resistance against Israel's occupation has alarmed Israelis who see it as a battle cry for a new uprising.

    Barghouti, a senior leader of the mainstream Fatah movement and who is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for masterminding terrorist attacks, has wide support across the Palestinian political spectrum.

    His jail-cell exhortation to sever economic and security coordination with Israel and launch an economic boycott will resonate among the populations of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip as well as the West Bank, which is controlled by its rival, Fatah.

    "The launch of large-scale popular resistance at this stage serves the cause of our people," Barghouti said in a letter smuggled out of his prison to mark the 10th anniversary of his imprisonment and read Monday to his supporters in Ramallah.

    "Stop marketing the illusion that there's a possibility of ending the occupation and achieving a state through negotiations after this vision has failed completely," wrote Barghouti, widely seen as a successor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

    Fears of a new intifada, or uprising, have been growing for some time amid increased Palestinian frustration at what they term as Israel's sabotage of a moribund peace process.

    The right-wing coalition government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu adamantly opposes relinquishing the West Bank and its 300,000 Jewish settlers, the territory the Palestinians view as their future independent state.

    The failure of successive U.S. administrations to convince the Israelis into even token withdrawals from the West Bank has incensed the Palestinians.

    The growing power of the settler movement during Netanyahu's watch and the growing tensions in the West Bank has fueled Palestinian anger. Jewish extremists have torched mosques and burned Palestinian crops.

    Palestinian prisoners have started hunger strikes protesting "administrative detention" -- held indefinitely without charge -- and alleging torture and ill-treatment.

    If they start dying, trouble is certain to erupt in the West Bank, now divided by Israel's "security barrier," supposedly to keep out suicide bombers but effectively annexing large swathes of Palestinian land.

    A March 20 U.N. report says settlers have seized nearly 60 springs in the West Bank and use violence and intimidation to prevent Palestinians getting water there.

    "The combination of a complete absence of political prospects for solving the conflict and ending the Israeli occupation, as well as the growing daily difficulties experienced by Palestinians in the occupied territories, has been encouraging many analysts and politicians to warn of a possible resumption of violence or another intifada of some kind," observed Ghassan Khatib, director of the Palestinian Authority's media center.

    "This represents a consensus view that the current situation is not sustainable."

    However, Khatib and others say that, despite the growing frustrations and swelling anger, most Palestinians "have learned lessons from their past and now believe that a turn to armed conflict and violent confrontation is not in their favor."

    But that same past has repeatedly triggered violent eruptions that no-one had foreseen.

    The first intifada broke out in Gaza in December 1987 when a Jewish driver ran over four Palestinians. It ended in 1993, with 2,162 Palestinians and 160 Israelis dead. Some 130,000 Palestinians, including women and children, were arrested.

    The revolt was led from within the Occupied Territories, not by Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization in exile.

    It was the first time Palestinians had acted together as a nation and it shattered Israel's carefully cultured image of Jerusalem, which both sides claim as their capital, as a united city since the Arab sector was conquered in 1967.

    The intifada alarmed the Israelis and helped expedite the process that led to the Oslo Accords in 1993.

    The second intifada erupted Sept. 28, 2000, when Ariel Sharon, soon to be prime minister, marched into the Haram al-Sharif in East Jerusalem, Islam's third holiest shrine, along with a phalanx of 1,000 bodyguards.

    Palestinians, already dismayed at the collapse of the Camp David summit in July 2000 with no peace treaty, went on the rampage. By the time the revolt, infinitely more violent than its predecessor, slackened five years later, 5,500 Palestinians and 1,100 Israelis were dead.
  14. SajeevJino
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    Israeli, Palestinian negotiators meet in Jordan: official


    Jordan has nudged Israeli and Palestinian negotiators back to discussions on the peace process, a government official said on Thursday, adding that the two sides had met in Amman during the night.

    "Israeli and Palestinian officials met last night in Amman for discussions," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    He declined to give details.

    Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said Wednesday in an interview with state television that "Jordanian diplomacy has succeeded in breaking the deadlock as the two sides are having discussions now. They are discussions and not talks."

    "Jordan is following up on these discussions and their outcome. We are seeking to help the two sides go back to direct negotiations," said Judeh.

    Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been on hold since September 2010, but Jordan and the peacemaking Quartet sponsored several rounds of meetings between envoys from each side in January.

    Israeli and Palestinian officials said on Wednesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to meet with Palestinian premier Salam Fayyad in coming weeks.

    Israel says it wants to return to the talks without preconditions, but the Palestinians want clear parameters for discussions and an Israeli settlement freeze before they resume negotiations.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  15. SajeevJino
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    Israel PM to seek direct talks with Abbas at Fayyad meet

    Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu will propose holding direct talks with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas when he meets prime minister Salam Fayyad in Jerusalem next week, his office said on Wednesday.

    The Israeli prime minister is to hold a rare meeting with his Palestinian counterpart and two other senior officials from Ramallah in Jerusalem on April 17, a spokesman from his office said earlier.

    It will be the first top-level meeting between the two sides since the peace process ground to a halt more than 18 months ago in a bitter dispute over Jewish settlement building.

    At the meeting, Netanyahu is to propose "raising the level of talks" and holding face-to-face negotiations with Abbas, his office said.

    "At his meeting next week with the Palestinian delegation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will propose raising the level of the talks to conduct them directly with Abu Mazen," it said, using Abbas's nom-de-guerre.

    "This message will also be passed on through his personal envoy, the lawyer Yitzhak Molcho, who is expected to meet with Abu Mazen and hand him a letter with Israel's position on a future agreement with the Palestinians," it said, referring to the head of the Israeli negotiating team.

    Israel and the Palestinians are expected to exchange letters in the coming week, with each side outlining its demands for a resumption of peace talks.

    But Abbas's political adviser appeared less than impressed with Netanyahu's proposal.

    "If Netanyahu wants to meet President Abbas, he must first announce that he's stopping settlements," Nimr Hammad told AFP in a clear sign the Palestinians were not backing down from their central demand for resuming talks -- that Israel halt its settlement building.

    For the Palestinians, it was the issue of Jewish settlements which caused the latest attempt at direct negotiations to break down just weeks after they were launched to great fanfare in September 2010.

    Since then, international efforts to draw the two sides back into dialogue have repeatedly failed to gain traction.

    A year after the talks collapsed, diplomats from the Quartet of Middle East peacemakers issued a fresh call for a return to direct talks but there has been little movement since then.

    Top Quartet diplomats met in Washington on Wednesday in their latest attempt to find a way out of the deadlock, but the meeting ended with a bland statement urging both sides to merely "strengthen and improve the climate for a resumption of direct negotiations."

    The statement was welcomed by Israel but the Palestinians were less than enthusiastic.

    "Israel welcomes the Quartet statement calling for a continuation of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians without preconditions," Netanyahu's office said.

    But Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said the Quartet needed to find a way of dealing with the issue of settlements.

    "The Quartet needs a mechanism to compel Israel to stop settlement and to act on the two-state solution," he told AFP.

    The last time Abbas and Netanyahu met was at the end of September 2010.

    Since then, there have been no top level meetings, although the negotiators held five exploratory meetings in January, aimed at seeking a way back to the negotiating table. They ended inconclusively.

    Next week's rare encounter between Netanyahu and Fayyad will be the first high-level talks in more than 18 months.

    "The meeting will take place in Jerusalem, probably at the prime minister's office," Netanyahu's spokesman Ofir Gendelman told AFP earlier on Wednesday, confirming the two would meet on April 17.

    Fayyad is expected to personally deliver a letter from Abbas outlining his conditions for returning to direct negotiations, namely an end to settlement building, and Israel's acceptance of the pre-1967 lines as the basis for discussing future borders.

    Netanyahu's office on Wednesday said the premier was also preparing his own letter for Abbas, which would be handed over by Molcho when the two meet later this month at a date which has yet to be set.

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