The PA is counting on Obama to pressure Israel

By Ted Belman

KHALED ABU TOAMEH writing in JPOST under the title Fayad says he won’t be part of new PA gov’t which is big news itself suggesting another US failure also had other interesting things to say.

    Fayad, who was speaking to reporters in Ramallah shortly before leaving for Yemen, also ruled out the possibility of reaching an agreement with Israel this year. “A political solution with Israel is not near. On the contrary – the settlement construction and Israel’s security measures on the ground show that there’s no progress.”

    He said that although the main “components” of a future peace agreement with Israel were known, the possibility of reaching a deal at present was nonexistent.

    Fayad’s remarks reflect growing frustration among the PA leadership regarding the prospects of achieving a breakthrough in the peace talks.

    The PA is particularly disappointed with the US administration for refusing to pressure Israel to display more “flexibility” in the peace talks with the Palestinians.

    Ahmed Qurei, head of the PA negotiating team, and Saeb Erekat, the chief PA negotiator, had failed to convince the US administration to put pressure on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to make far-reaching concessions to the Palestinians, a senior PA official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post.

    He said that Qurei and Erekat, who visited Washington last week, were told by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the Bush administration had also concluded that a peace agreement with Israel before the end of this year was no longer a realistic option.

    “The Americans have decided to be less involved in the peace negotiations,” the PA official said. “They explained that in the wake of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s decision to quit next month, the peace process will have to be put on hold.”

    The senior PA official added that Washington made it clear that it did not intend to pressure Jerusalem to make concessions to the Palestinians so as not to harm Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s chances of winning the Kadima primary on September 17.

    Accusing Israel of failing to take steps to give credibility to the peace process, Fayad called for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. He said the international community was now required to pressure Israel to work toward a two-state solution.

    The Palestinians, he stressed, won’t make any more concessions.

    “The whole world must know that ending the conflict requires an end to the Israeli occupation of the lands that were occupied in 1967, including east Jerusalem,” he said. “We don’t distinguish between a settlement that was built today and one that was built 35 years ago.”

    Fayad said Israel was trying to benefit from the split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. “Israel is trying to deal with the West Bank as a separate entity,” he said. “This has been the case since the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip [in 2005].”

    He described the ongoing power struggle between Hamas and Fatah as a “catastrophe,” adding that the Gaza Strip was headed toward the abyss.

The US wants Livni to win because she is on record for dividing Jerusalem. Mofaz is against dividing it.

Furthermore, you can bet that America is behind the Compensation Bill and sees it as the way to go to get Israelis out of Judea and Samaria.

If the US is only temporarily against pressuring Israel rather than permanently against doing so, then Israel is in for a rough ride afterwards and particularly if Obama becomes the next President.

Another way to look on this is to understand that the PA will no concessions now preferring to wait for Obama to pressure Israel. According to Fayyad, the PA wants the greenline as the border and all Jews out. He is the moderate, remember.

August 10, 2008 | 1 Comment »

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