In Focus (Archive)


Kerry seeks to revive negotiations: a Palestinian discretion and an Israeli indifference

July 23, 2013

For the sixth time in three months, the U.S. secretary of state John Kerry visits the Middle East hoping to revive peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), stalled since 2010.

It seemed that through the result of Kerry’s negotiations with President Mahmoud Abbas and the Arab League delegation in Jordan, which also included King Abdullah II, Kerry was optimistic about the possibility of resuming negotiations, saying that the differences between the parties are reduced, without revealing any details.

He also announced that he has several proposals, "but he prefers to keep the work in this field discrete and calm to ensure the success of these efforts.”Kerry said that" the Arab initiative, despite its importance has not received what it deserves, "and stressed that Israel must consider seriously the peace initiative.

Kerry said Israel needs to see this right initiative that promises peace to Israel with 22 Arab and 35 Muslim states or 57 countries in total while waiting for the possibility of achieving peace with Israel.

This means that Washington depends on the Arab peace initiative, which was announced in Beirut in 2002 to launch the negotiations, and so on that other Arab Initiatives announced a few months ago for an exchange of territories agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Thus, Kerry has promised the Palestinians that negotiations will be based on the 1967 borders without any clear position in this regard from Israel, and promised the Palestinians will recognize Israel as a Jewish state, but no Palestinian position has been reported in this regard.

In addition, Kerry brought the carrot and the stick in his discussions with the Palestinians, while Abbas has promised to make efforts to press for the release of 100 Palestinian prisoners in the period before the Oslo Accords (1993 ) and stop the colonization in remote areas, he motioned to cut  annual U.S. aid of $ 500 million to the Palestinian Authority if the Palestinians continue to demand the intransigence to stop settlement activities  and release of all Palestinian prisoners as a precondition for contesting direct negotiations.

On the other hand, He carried for Israelis the European stick and the American carrot. The European stick is that the European Commission has announced to prevent provision, financing, cooperation and research grants or awards for colonies in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. According to the instructions issued by the EU Member States, each agreement signed with Israel in the future should include an article stating that the settlements are not part of the State of Israel and therefore are not part of the agreement.

The American carrot is  to put pressure on the Palestinian to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and support the position of Tel Aviv  of not releasing Palestinian prisoners at once, and preserve settlements established during exchanges of territories and press to prevent the Palestine Liberation Organization to go to the UN and achieve the internationalization of the national rights of Palestinian people to join the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice and the human Rights Council and other United Nations agencies (63 in total).

It was noted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not announced a position of American mediation and the Palestinian side said the formation of a committee to study the American initiative.

In Israel, it has parts that show an outright rejection of negotiations following its desires to occupy the whole of Palestine. Similarly, Palestinians parties refuse to negotiate due to the absence of a clear reference and probably the origin of the integrity of Washington's position.

A source in charge of Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said the rejection of the old formula is without reference to the 1967 borders negotiations and without a complete settlement freeze, warned of falling into "traps and maneuvers messages of America.”

 On the other hand ,  Hamas has rejected the agreement for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, considering a withdrawal of its national position. A spokesman for the movement, Sami Abu Zouhri said that Hamas rejects the announcement of (the U.S. Secretary of State John) Kerry on the resumption of negotiations, and that the only beneficiary is the occupier who uses it to hide his settlement and Judaization crimes.




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