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Discussion & Updates on Palestinian statehood bid

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Hembo, Sep 19, 2011.

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  1. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Fayyad no-show as Palestinians hand letter to Israel PM


    A Palestinian delegation on Tuesday personally delivered a letter from president Mahmud Abbas to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he details his grievances over the failure of the peace process.

    The letter was handed over at a brief meeting between Netanyahu and his chief negotiator Yitzhak Molcho with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat and intelligence chief Majed Faraj.

    The Palestinian delegation described the meeting as "serious" and both sides confirmed Netanyahu would respond with his own letter to Abbas "within two weeks."

    "This evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with representatives of the Palestinian side who handed him a letter from president Abbas," the Israeli leader's office said in a statement.

    "Israel and the Palestinian Authority are committed to reaching peace," it said after the talks, which lasted just under an hour.

    "Within two weeks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will send a letter to president Abbas," it said, concluding: "The two sides hope that this exchange of letters will help find the way to advance peace."

    Speaking to AFP shortly afterwards, Erakat expressed satisfaction over the brief encounter.

    "It was a serious meeting," he said. "Netanyahu will study the letter seriously and answer it within two weeks."

    The delegation was initially supposed to be a top-level affair led by prime minister Salam Fayyad, but ended up a more low key affair after officials confirmed at the last minute that the premier would not be taking part -- without saying why.

    Earlier this month, senior officials on both sides said the delegation would be led by Fayyad in what would have been the first high-level meeting between the two sides in more than 18 months.

    But Fayyad's office never confirmed his participation, and by the late afternoon, speculation was rife that he would not attend.

    Fayyad's office flatly refused to comment on the incident, although a source close to the premier admitted the Western-backed leader had "reservations" about meeting the Israeli leader, without explaining further.

    Israeli officials had no immediate comment on the content of the letter.

    Earlier on Tuesday, Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath said the main aim of the document was to challenge the Israeli leader over the collapse of the peace process, saying its objective was to "put Mr Netanyahu on the spot."

    According to a copy of the missive which was seen by AFP earlier this week, Abbas accuses Israel of stripping the Palestinian Authority of all of its authority and warns over the slide towards a bi-national state.

    "As a result of actions taken by successive Israeli governments, the Palestinian National Authority no longer has any authority, and no meaningful jurisdiction in the political, economic, territorial and security spheres," he writes.

    "In other words, the PA lost its raison d'etre which, if it continues, will make it unable to honour its commitments," he says in reference to the multiple agreements signed with Israel since the 1993 Oslo Accords, which brought about the creation of the Palestinian Authority a year later.

    He asks Israel to outline "as soon as possible" its positions on four key issues: the principle of a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines, halting settlement activity, releasing all Palestinian prisoners, and revoking all decisions which undermine bilateral agreements since 2000.

    "We stand ready to immediately resume negotiations the minute we receive your positive response on these points," he writes.

    Israel says it wants negotiations without preconditions, but the Palestinians have sought a settlement freeze and clear parameters for talks before returning to the table.

    In January, negotiators from both sides held five exploratory meetings in a bid to find a way to resume dialogue, but they ended inconclusively, after which Abbas announced he was planning on sending a letter to Netanyahu.
     
  2. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Israel PM gets Abbas letter, both 'committed to peace'


    Jerusalem (AFP) April 17, 2012 -

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday received a letter from president Mahmud Abbas about the moribund peace process, as he met in Jerusalem with two Palestinian officials, his office said.

    The brief meeting was described by the Palestinians as "serious," with both sides saying Netanyahu would reply with his own letter to Abbas "within two weeks."

    "This evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with representatives of the Palestinian side who handed him a letter from president Abbas," the Israeli leader's bureau said in a statement.

    "Israel and the Palestinian Authority are committed to reaching peace."

    The brief meeting at the premier's official residence in Jerusalem lasted just under half an hour and saw Netanyahu and his chief negotiator Yitzhak Molcho meeting with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat and intelligence chief Majed Faraj, it said.

    "Within two weeks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will send a letter to president Abbas," it said.

    "The two sides hope that this exchange of letters will help find the way to advance peace."

    Speaking to AFP shortly afterwards, Erakat expressed satisfaction over the brief encounter.

    "It was a serious meeting," he said. "Netanyahu will study the letter seriously and answer it within two weeks."
     
  3. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Hamas: any peace deal with Israel would be 'truce'


    Hamas would consider any Palestinian peace deal with Israel as a truce, the Islamist movement's second-in-command Mussa Abu Marzuk said in a rare interview with American Jewish daily Forward.

    "We will not recognise Israel as a state," he reiterated during an interview conducted over two days in Cairo, where he has lived since leaving Damascus along with most of the Hamas leadership in exile.

    Abu Marzuk stressed that while under the reconciliation agreement with Fatah leader and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, Hamas did not object to the rival Palestinian faction negotiating with Israel, his movement's position remained that any deal must be put to a referendum of all Palestinians, including refugees.

    "When we reach the agreement, our point of view is, its a hudna" or truce, Abu Marzuk, the deputy director of Hamas' political bureau, told the Forward.

    After Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin signed the Oslo Accords in 1993, his successor, Benjamin Netanyahu, who opposed it, made many changes, he noted.

    "Lets establish a relationship between the two states in the historic Palestinian land as a hudna between both sides," added the leader of Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip that remains under Israeli blockade.

    "Its better than war and better than the continuous resistance against the occupation. And better than Israel occupying the West Bank and Gaza, making all these difficulties and problems on both sides," he argued.

    Abu Marzuk did not exclude that his position on recognising Israel could be "completely different" in "10 years."

    Hamas is currently renewing its Advisory Council (Majlis al-Shura), which will select the movement's political bureau.

    Part of the Hamas leadership, particularly in Gaza, accuses the political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal of having agreed to too many concessions toward reconciliation, declaring that he would "give a chance" to negotiations with Israel.
     
  4. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Peres says Israel can reach peace with Abbas
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    Israel can reach a peace deal with Mahmud Abbas, President Shimon Peres said in remarks published Monday, after the Palestinian leader expressed his grievances over the failed peace process.

    "I am aware that there are other opinions (about whether Abbas can or wants to make peace), but I don't accept them," Peres said, quoted by Haaretz newspaper.

    Peres told the daily that he "had no small number of conversations" with Abbas, all of which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knew about.

    "Based on these conversations, I'm convinced we could have achieved peace with Abu Mazen," Peres told Haaretz, using the Palestinian leader's nomme de guerre. "He's a worthy partner and can deliver the goods."

    Last week, the Palestinians delivered a letter Abbas for Netanyahu in which he accused Israel of stripping the Palestinian Authority of all of its authority and warned over the slide towards a bi-national state.

    "As a result of actions taken by successive Israeli governments, the Palestinian National Authority no longer has any authority, and no meaningful jurisdiction in the political, economic, territorial and security spheres," he wrote according to a copy of the missive which was seen by AFP.

    Abbas asked Israel to outline "as soon as possible" its positions on four key issues: the principle of a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines, halting settlement activity, releasing all Palestinian prisoners, and revoking all decisions which undermine bilateral agreements since 2000.

    "For the PLO, and the Palestinian National Authority -- now stripped of all meaningful authority -- cannot continue to honor agreements while Israel refuses to even acknowledge its commitments," he wrote in reference to the multiple agreements signed with Israel since the 1993 Oslo Accords, which brought about the creation of the Palestinian Authority a year later.

    "We stand ready to immediately resume negotiations the minute we receive your positive response on these points," he wrote.

    Israel says it wants negotiations without preconditions, but the Palestinians have sought a settlement freeze and clear parameters for talks before returning to the table.

    In January, negotiators from both sides held five exploratory meetings in a bid to find a way to resume dialogue, but they ended inconclusively.
     
  5. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations has announced that Russia will back a resolution calling for a Palestinian state, if one is presented. "Russia will support the resolution establishing the terms for Israeli withdrawal and the creation of the Palestinian state if it is presented to the UN Security Council," Churkin said. "If the resolution is presented, we will vote for it."

    His comments come after Palestine’s delegation to the UN decided not to present a resolution on statehood to the UN Security Council on Oct. 21, as was expected. The expected resolution was believed to lay out concrete terms for the creation of a Palestinian state and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, by 2016.

    Churkin's promise to support Palestine did not come as a surprise. Russia has long supported the idea of creating an independent Palestinian state, and Russian diplomats have often expressed this position publicly. At a meeting in Cairo this month on rebuilding in the Gaza Strip, Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian President’s Special Representative for the Middle East, said: "We believe that the Palestinian cause is just, and that the Palestinian people have the right to self-determination, to create their own state.”

    Russia’s support for Palestine raises questions of the country’s relationship with Israel. Russian speakers make up one-fifth of Israel’s population and Israel not only declined to support the West's economic sanctions against Russia, but also intends to increase its supplies of agricultural products to Russia.

    Russian experts agree that Russia takes little risk in supporting a resolution for Palestinian statehood because the chances of Palestinian statehood becoming a reality are slim.

    "Israel understands that Russia supports Palestine. Almost the entire world supports Palestine, so what?” said Georgy Mirsky, a research fellow at the Institute of World Economics and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences. “It is all a game, because the real situation in Palestine, the one on the ground and not in the UN corridors, does not change. Israel will not permit the creation of a full-fledged Palestinian state for many reasons, among which are the problem with the status of East Jerusalem, the issue of the settlements, the problem of Israeli troops of the border with Jordan and the millions of refugees who are ready to pour into Palestinian territories.”

    Churkin also believes that the resolution, should it be introduced, has little chance of being passed. "The chances of the resolution being adopted are slim, since such a resolution will most likely be vetoed by the United States," Churkin said in an interview with Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

    Grigory Kosach, a professor of history at the Russian State University of the Humanities Institute, thinks that Russia’s willingness to support the Palestinian resolution is a step in the right direction, since Russia has not always been able to successfully maintain a balance in its relations with Palestine and Israel: "Russia indeed has excellent relations with Israel and if we look at how Russia's position on the creation of the Palestinian state has varied throughout the years, we will see that sometimes economic gains from cooperation with Israel prevailed over the political advantages in supporting Palestine. Of course it's good that now Russia is supporting the initiative to create a Palestine state, but how realistic is this project?" Kosach said.

    In his opinion, the recent statements of support for Palestine by Russian officials are intended to irritate the U.S. "In many ways this move aims to annoy the US and also, by supporting Palestine, Russia strengthens its political standings in the Arab countries."

    Russia to support Palestinian statehood | Russia & India Report
     
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