by Lady Michelle-Jennifer Santos, Chief Visionary Founder & Owner
July 31, 2013 (TSR) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday, that the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks will mainly focus on two issues: Security and Borders.
He also said that after finishing discussions and when these cases are finalized, other files will be put on the negotiation table and both parties will move on to tackle other issues.
About the guarantees presented by the US to make the negotiations successful, Abbas told Okaz Saudi daily newspaper that the only guarantee is the seriousness of US president Barack Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry, nothing else.
He added that the United States is very serious in reaching a settlement.
It is that “seriousness” which makes the world skeptical and question when it comes to United States brokering the negotiations.
Fact remains is that Israeli regime, especially with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the helm, does not intend to cease its illegal settlement constructions in the occupied Palestinian lands, while Washington fails to put pressure on Tel Aviv over its settlement activities due to pressure from the Israeli lobby.
On July 29, representatives of the Palestinian Authority (PA), with their chief negotiator Saeb Erakat, and the Israeli regime, with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni as their negotiator, started two days of US-brokered talks in Washington over the future of Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank, the status of al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the fate of Palestinian refugees.
Most Palestinian factions have condemned and rejected the decision by acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas to restart talks with the Israeli regime.
The leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a major faction of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, rejected new peace talks with Israel just hours before their scheduled resumption in Washington on Monday because it is futile.
The talks will predictably be like Oslo 20 years ago where Netanyahu sabotaged the negotiations and bamboozled the Palestinians with the 1993 accords for limited self-rule.
“We went to the UN precisely to take our case out of US hands,” said one of the party’s leaders, Khaleda Jarar.
The comment was a reference to the Palestinians successful bid for upgraded status at the United Nations last November, which was strongly opposed by both Israel and the United States.
Moreover, the group said that talks’ resumption was a unilateral move by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas which did not have the backing of the PLO as a whole.
Even Americans are skeptical.
He told reporters Friday in Geneva the US-brokered resumption of talks between Israel and the Palestinians likely will not amount to much, but Europe could change that if it were willing to break from American policies supporting Israel.
“It’s hard to be optimistic, but Europe could play a role,” said Chomsky. “By and large, Europe has not developed an independent Middle East policy.”
Europe “consistently follows the US stand,” which punishes Palestinians whose land is settled by Israelis, and “there’s no reason why Europe should support illegal settlements,” he noted.
Europe has made it clear that it will not put up anymore with the illegal settlements. Ahead of the US-brokered talks, the European Union decreed a ban which conditions that all future co-operation agreements with Israel on a directive that they not include Israeli new illegal settlements, which was built beyond 1967 borders. The EU’s decree warns from financing Israeli entity and providing grants and donations for scientific research, and also requires that signing any future agreements with Israel must include a term recognizing that east Jerusalem and the West Bank are not part of the State of Israel and therefore not part of the contract. All EU projects are to be conducted within pre-1967 lines.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reacted angrily towards its largest trading partner, but sanctions and ICC is the only effective way to show that the world means business when it comes to true peace at this point since this is now the 20th time the talks have been brokered but never gone anywhere. The boycott and the investment sanctions initiative that was requested by the Palestinians in 2005 which has since grown considerably around the world proves the world’s resolve and weariness over Israel dodging and bluntly violating international laws.
The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts made to establish peace in the Middle East.
A report released in May revealed that the Israeli regime confiscated 1,977 acres of the Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank for its settlement activity during 2012.
The settlements, which cover an area roughly equal to 1,035 soccer fields and twice as big as New York’s Central Park, were approved by “military order,” according to the report by the Israeli daily Haaretz on May 27.
The report said most of the new settlements were located deep in the Palestinian-inhabited West Bank.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.
The United Nations and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in the war of 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.
The Palestinian-Israeli talks were halted in September 2010 over disagreements on Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds (Jerusalem), and the Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the Palestinian territories occupied in the Six-Day War of 1967.
The talks aim to achieve a long-elusive peace settlement within nine months.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Israel and the Palestinians were committed to sustained and serious negotiations on the “core issues” that divide them. The next round will take place in either Israel or the Palestinian territories before mid-August, AP reports.