The United States is set on imposing a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if the current peace negotiations fail to produce positive results, according to a report on Galei Tzahal (IDF army radio).
The US plan “will include positions on all core issues…apparently with adjustments to what has been heard from both sides in the past two months; that is, it is a permanent arrangement and not an interim arrangement, based on the pre-1967 borders with land swaps,” the report said.
The US is determined to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough by mid-2014 by applying pressure against Ramallah and Jerusalem, Galei Tzahal continued.
Israeli government sources have indicated their willingness for a solution on condition that its strategic interests, and especially its security needs, are taken into account.
Israel recently freed 26 Palestinians prisoners in the second stage of four, which are expected to conclude with the release of 104 criminals to their homes in Judea and Samaria or Gaza. Israel has also announced tenders for 1,500 new housing units in Judea and Samaria and in East Jerusalem.
There has been much skepticism on both sides regarding the peace negotiations, which have been ongoing since the summer, with several news reports indicating that progress was not being made. The past few months have also included a notable rise in terror activity emanating from the Palestinian Authority-administered territories.
Only a few days ago, Palestinian UN observer Riyad Mansour wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, slamming Israel for its announcement of housing construction in Jewish communities over the Green Line – construction which, according to the residents, is sorely needed. Regarding Palestinian condemnation of the new building construction, Netanyahu stated, according to the Galei Tzahal report: “We had agreed on the prisoner release as well as to continue to build.”
In an interview with i24news, the Galei Tzahal report continued, Netanyahu said: “If they [PA] cannot even stand behind the agreements achieved thus far, what will happen with the larger issues that would require them to deal with negative public opinion in their society?” If Abbas truly wishes to lead his people towards an agreement, he should make the hard decisions and follow through, Netanyahu pointed out, adding: “I did it, and I expect the Palestinians to do the same.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry, while visiting the region this week, will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA leader Mahmoud Abbas.
In related developments, as reported by Israel National News, “US embassy officials in Lebanon have been conducting secret and ‘indirect’ talks with Hezbollah, according to Kuwait’s al-Anbaa newspaper,” and relations between the US and the terrorist group were developing “positively.”
This follows wide reportage last week, according to which Kerry had defended the West’s negotiations with Iran, notwithstanding Israeli concerns, asserting that the US “will not succumb to…fear tactics.”
Meanwhile, on Sunday, according to IRNA, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – speaking to students from his residence on the eve of the 34th anniversary of the Iranian seizure of the American embassy in Tehran – acknowledged that the Islamic Republic has no intention of caving in to Western demands to halt its nuclear program. Yet he supported diplomacy with the West, adding that “with the grace of God, we will not suffer losses either,” referring to discussions on the easing of sanctions on Iran.
In the same speech, he referred to Israel as an “illegitimate and bastard regime.”
Netanyahu insists that pressure on Iran must be continued. “I am convinced that if the pressure is maintained and not relaxed, Iran will dismantle its military nuclear capabilities, and if the pressure is relaxed, Iran will advance toward this goal. We are committed to ensuring that it does not reach its realization,” he declared.
Author: Atara Beck, Staff writer for United with Israel
Date: Nov 4, 2013