Israel-Palestine News Compiler

Hasan Abu Nimah: An impossible reconciliation

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on September 1, 2009
Palestinians in Gaza wearing masks of Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh call for unity between the feuding groups. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)
Palestinians in Gaza wearing masks of Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh call for unity between the feuding groups. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)
One major stumbling block has been hundreds of Hamas political detainees held in Palestinian Authority and Fatah-controlled prisons in the West Bank. (The Palestinian Authority routinely denied such arrests, although Abbas announced that 200 Hamas prisoners would be freed on the occasion of the start of Ramadan.) Hamas also demands that Fatah security forces supplied, trained and supervised by US General Keith Dayton halt their crackdown on resistance fighters from Hamas as part of the American-backed plan for crushing any form of resistance to Israeli occupation.

This really is the heart of the matter. Hamas is in effect asking its Fatah/Palestinian Authority (PA) opponent to abandon its primary role undertaken as part of its “peace strategy” and its commitments to the so-called “international community,” the Quartet roadmap, as well as the Dayton plan. Fatah and the PA apparatus it controls adheres to this US-sponsored anti-resistance strategy as the primary condition for the continuation of international financing for the PA.

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U.S. drops demand for Israel building freeze in East Jerusalem

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on August 27, 2009

According to both Israeli officials and Western diplomats, U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell has recognized the fact that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cannot announce a settlement freeze in East Jerusalem. The officials said the U.S. will not endorse new construction there, but would not demand Jerusalem publicly announce a freeze.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1110507.html

What Actually Happened in Fatah’s Elections?

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on August 26, 2009

In his WINEP speech Dayton acknowledged this crackdown when he said, “I don’t know how many of you are aware, but over the last year-and-a-half, the Palestinians have engaged upon a series of what they call security offensives throughout the West Bank, surprisingly well coordinated with the Israeli army.” He further admitted that during the 22-day Gaza war last winter, U.S.-trained Palestinian security forces prevented Palestinians in the West Bank from organizing mass protests against the Israeli army, which ironically allowed for the reduction of the Israeli military presence in the West Bank in order to redeploy those troops to Gaza. Dayton added, “As a matter of fact, a good portion of the Israeli army went off to Gaza from the West Bank— think about that for a minute, and the (Israeli military) commander (of the West Bank) was absent for eight straight days.”

For full article, visit http://www.counterpunch.org/amin08142009.html

Netanyahu wants meeting with Abbas at UN

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on August 23, 2009

However, Netanyahu’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, told reporters Sunday that he sees no chance of peace. “In the 16 years since the Oslo Accords, we haven’t managed to bring peace to the region, and I’m willing to bet that there won’t be peace in another 16 years, either. Certainly not on the basis of the two-state solution,” Lieberman said.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1109616.html

Russian Jews ponder age-old question: Israel or the U.S.?

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on August 19, 2009

Leon (Lunia) Gayer, 33, and English teacher, has been living in Brooklyn for 16 years. “We had an aunt who joined one of the first waves of immigration to Israel. Grandma used to correspond with her in Yiddish. I began studying Hebrew when I was still in Odessa, but we decided to come to New York because they said that in Israel you must serve in the army and the Russian experience with the military has not been too great. One relative told us we were crazy even to consider Israel, where he said they live in mud huts …. Here I remained quite Russian, because in America there is no pressure to give up your previous culture and identity. Because of this approach, the link to tradition comes from a more correct place, without pressure and coercion.”

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1108589.html

Huckabee: 2-state solution ‘unrealistic’

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on August 18, 2009

“The question is, should the Palestinians have a place to call their own?” he asked. “Yes, I have no problem with that. Should it be in the middle of the Jewish homeland? That’s what I think has to be honestly assessed as virtually unrealistic.”

However, Huckabee backed away from a suggestion he made in 2007 that the Palestinian state could be formed in Egypt or Saudi Arabia.

“It wasn’t so much of a plan, I think, as it was a speculation,” he said. “I was speculating. My question was, why does it [the Palestinian state] have to be here?”

For full article, visit http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1249418638530&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

U.S.: Netanyahu policy speech not adequate

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on June 13, 2009

The official said Netanyahu told U.S. envoy George Mitchell this week what he planned to say in the speech and that it was “not adequate” to satisfy Washington, who is pushing for an immediate resumption of talks on Palestinian statehood.

The official was quoted on Friday by participants at a meeting this week of the so-called Quartet of Middle East mediators. Netanyahu’s refusal to declare a building freeze in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and to endorse the goal of establishing a Palestinian state — both set out in a 2003 peace “road map” — has opened a rare rift in U.S.-Israeli relations.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1092452.html

Israel rejects Clinton claim of no agreement on settlements

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on June 7, 2009

Israeli officials rejected on Saturday a statement by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissing Israeli assertions that the Bush administration had agreed to allow some construction in the settlements to allow for natural growth.

“There is no memorialization of any informal and oral agreements. If they did occur, which, of course, people say they did, they did not become part of the official position of the United States government,” Clinton told reporters on Friday, in a news conference with her Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, at the State Department.

For full article, visit http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1244035012765&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Obama and Netanyahu differ in talks

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on May 19, 2009

Israel’s prime minister has refused to commit to an independent Palestinian state during talks with Barack Obama, the US president, at the White House.

Binyamin Netanyahu told Obama that he wanted the Palestinians to govern themselves, but steered clear of explicitly endorsing the two-state solution set out in the so-called “road map”.

For full article, visit http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2009/05/200951817522268394.html

IDF deal for F-35 sours over soaring costs of fighter jets

Posted in Internal Israeli Affairs, Israel and the US by beyondtheborder on April 17, 2009

Because of the F-35’s structure, which places missiles, bombs and electronic devices inside the plane, no system can be installed externally and considerable internal modifications would be required.

These modifications push up the aircraft’s price by at least 25 percent. In 2002, Lockheed Martin cited the cost of one F-35 at some $47 million, but now the official price is about $80 million, in part reflecting the dollar’s devaluation. The modifications Israel is demanding raise the price tag to over $100 million.

One Pentagon estimate quoted the cost of 75 F-35s in addition to spare parts, engines and a comprehensive support system at $15 billion. Senior defense establishment officials say such prices are prohibitive.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1078888.html