Saturday, January 18, 2014

DTN News - MIDEAST NEWS: A Palestinian Protester Being Arrested By Israeli Security Forces / Middle East Peace Talks In Deadlock Over Core Issue

DTN News - MIDEAST NEWS: A Palestinian Protester Being Arrested By Israeli Security Forces /  Middle East Peace Talks In Deadlock Over Core Issue
*US working on proposals to allow Israeli-Palestinian talks to go beyond deadline after about 20 meetings
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by K. V. Seth from reliable sources Irish Times & Reuters
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 18, 2014: When Israel and the Palestinians agreed, under intense pressure from Washington, to relaunch direct bilateral negotiations last July, US secretary of state John Kerry set an extremely ambitious, some would say naive, nine- month deadline for the sides to clinch an elusive peace deal.

That deadline is fast approaching and although the sides have met about 20 times, in strict secrecy, there is no indication to date that the parties have been able to significantly narrow the gaps on any of the core issues.

In what appears to be an effort in diplomatic damage control, Kerry is now working on bridging proposals, a framework agreement to be endorsed by the sides, that would enable the talks to continue beyond the April deadline.

An indication of the deadlock’s depth came this week when the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot leaked off- the-record statements made by Israeli defence minister Moshe Ya’alon.

He confirmed comments made by senior Palestinian officials over recent weeks to the effect that direct peace talks have not taken place for weeks and both sides were in effect negotiating separately with the Americans.

He also made a scathing personal attack on Kerry, for which he later apologised, describing him as “messianic” and “obsessive,” saying sarcastically that he should just claim his Nobel peace prize and leave Israel alone.

Ya’alon also dismissed the American plan for West Bank security arrangements, drafted by Kerry in an effort to break the impasse in the talks, as “not worth the paper it’s written on”.

According to an anonymous official in the ruling Likud party, quoted in the Israeli media this week, the defence minister merely said out loud what prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu really thinks but could never say, so as not to pinpoint Israel as the obstacle to peace.

Over recent weeks senior Palestinian officials led by President Mahmoud Abbas have made a number of hardline speeches that left little room for optimism that an historic compromise was close.
So what are the contentious issues?

The Palestinians seek an independent state in the entire West Bank and Gaza. Israel wants to maintain control over four West Bank settlement blocs (about 13 per cent of the West Bank), home to more than 80 percent of settlers; and in return would be prepared to cede some Israeli territory to the Palestinians.

Gaza has always been considered an integral part of a future Palestinian state but is currently controlled by the Islamic Hamas, bitter opponents of Fatah, headed by President Abbas, which controls the West Bank. Hamas opposes the peace talks with Israel and insists Abbas has no mandate to negotiate on its behalf.

*Link for This article compiled by K. V. Seth from reliable sources Irish Times & Reuters
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*Photograph: IPF (International Pool of Friends) + DTN News / otherwise source stated
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

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