Saturday, May 10, 2008

PA Upset Israel Won't Violate Prior Agreements and Resolutions

Each of the armistice agreements signed in 1949 specified the armistice lines were not to be treated as as borders and were not to prejudice future negotiations.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, adopted after the Arab states failed in their 1967 attempt to destroy Israel, called for an agreement on secure and recognized borders, further disqualifying the temporary armistice lines from consideration.

The Palestinian Authority continues its intransigent insistence that both the armistice agreement and 242 be violated.

The following is from The Jerusalem Post.

Israel offering us nothing more than mini-state of cantons

Khaled Abu Toameh

Palestinian Authority officials said Monday that Israel was offering the Palestinians nothing more than a "mini-state of cantons" in parts of the West Bank.

The officials told The Jerusalem Post that Israel's proposals were "completely unacceptable" and "provocative." They also claimed that the US Administration was supporting the Israeli position.

"Today, it's clear to us that Israel has no intention of withdrawing from all the territories that were occupied in 1967," said one official.

[As explained above, doing so would violate both the armistice agreements and 242.]

"If the Israelis and Americans think that they will ever find a Palestinian leader who would accept less than the 1967 borders, they are living under an illusion."

[It will obviously still be a long time before the Palestinian Arabs are prepared for any reasonable compromise.]

Another top PA official said that maps presented by the Israeli government to the Palestinians in the past few weeks showed that Israel is planning to retain control over nearly half of the West Bank and large parts of eastern Jerusalem.

[Jerusalem is Israel's capital and will remain so, but Israel has made it clear it is prepared to give away most of Judea and Samaria.]

The Israeli maps, he said, "turn the Palestinian communities in the West Bank into cantons surrounded by Israeli military bases and large settlement blocs." The official added: "We have made it clear to both the Israelis and Americans that they should throw away these maps. No Palestinian will ever agree to the presence of settlements or Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. This is in violation of [US President George W.] Bush's vision of two states living next to each other in peace."

[That's a rather strange interpretation.]

The officials said they were unaware of dramatic changes in Israel's position regarding final status issues, adding that it was "premature" to talk about progress in the negotiations between the two parties.

They said they were surprised to hear reports in the Israeli media about certain progress that was ostensibly achieved during Monday's summit between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

"Apparently Olmert's office is spreading these rumors to divert attention from the problems he's facing at home," the officials said, referring to the latest police investigation against Olmert.

"The Israeli government is not serious about the peace talks," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior PLO official closely associated with Abbas. "We don't believe that we can reach an agreement [with Israel] before the end of this year."

[Obviously, it will be impossible to reach an agreement before the Palestinian Arabs are ready to negotiate.]

Abed Rabbo accused Israel of "deceiving" the Palestinians by continuing to build settlements while talking about the need to reach a peace deal.

[There have been no new Jewish communities constructed, and precious little building in existing communities.]

"Israel does not want to change its policy," he added. "Israel wants to continue settlement expansion and the construction of the separation wall." Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat described the talks between Abbas and Olmert as "serious and thorough."

Erekat said Monday's talks focused on the final status issues. He said Abbas demanded an end to construction in the West Bank settlements and the reopening of closed PLO institutions in Jerusalem.

[Is Abbas prepared to reciprocate by ending Arab construction in the disputed territories?]

He said Abbas also demanded the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, especially those who have been in prison for more than 20 years, as well as women, minors and political leaders such as Marwan Barghouti.

[Abbas is very good at making outrageous demands.]

According to Erekat, Israel has agreed to grant residency status to 10,000 Palestinians who entered the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the past decade.

[Negotiations have to be a two-way street. Until the Palestinian Arabs are prepared to give as well as take and tone down their absurd demands, there's no chance of any agreement.

Of course, unless they also change their ways and adhere to future agreements, negotiations are pointless anyway.]

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