Peace process

Hillary Clinton: don't defer Middle East decisions

By Jennifer Lipman, October 21, 2010

Hillary Clinton has called for the Palestinians to publicly disavow terrorist organisations Hamas and Hizbollah.

The US Secretary of State told a Palestinian peace group that Israel must take further steps to relax restrictions on the Gaza Strip.

Mrs Clinton also told the audience at the American Task Force on Palestine event that while there is “no magic formula” to solve the Middle East conflict, negotiation remains absolutely necessary.

Direct peace talks resumed in Washington in September after nearly two years.

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Remember him, pleads Yitzhak Rabin's daughter on anniversary

By Jennifer Lipman, October 20, 2010

Yitzhak Rabin’s daughter Dalia has called for Israel to do more to keep the memory of the former prime minister alive at an event to mark the 15th anniversary of his assassination.

Ceremonies were held around Israel, including a candlighting with Israeli President Shimon Peres and a ceremony at the Rabin Centre in Tel Aviv.

Mr Rabin was killed in 1995 by a right-wing Orthodox Jewish fanatic during a peace concert.

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Too late for dialogue with Palestinians

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, October 14, 2010

For nine months out of the ten-month settlement freeze, Palestinian leaders refused to directly engage their Israeli counterparts, because it did not include Jerusalem. Having belatedly joined the talks, they quickly abandoned them lest the freeze they previously considered insufficient be reinstated.

Suppose that, at Washington's behest, Israel extends the freeze for two more months. Given the track record, there is little chance anything will be achieved - except, maybe, stemming the tidal wave about to drown US President Barack Obama's Democrats in the mid-term elections.

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Netanyahu needs this peace deal

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 14, 2010

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is preparing the ground for a possible centrist coalition, if a resumption of talks with Palestinian Authority and an extension of the settlement freeze cause a major crisis within his government.

Another week has gone by without a decision by Mr Netanyahu on the future of the settlement freeze, now at the centre of Palestinian conditions for continuing direct peace talks.

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Netanyahu to Abbas: recognise Israel for settlement freeze

By Jennifer Lipman, October 11, 2010

Benajmin Netanyahu has offered to halt construction in the West Bank if the Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state.

The Israeli prime minister said that the Middle East conflict “will never end” unless the Palestinians agree to this.

A ten-month-long freeze on settlement construction expired last month. Talks between Mr Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas have stalled in the wake of this.

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Clinton: peace would remove impetus for terror

By Jennifer Lipman, October 6, 2010

Resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict would have “more impact by far than anything else” on global terrorism levels, according to Bill Clinton.

The former US president said that a Middle East peace agreement would “take about half the impetus in the whole world for terror away".

Speaking at a conference in Cairo, President Clinton said that a deal could have a knock on effect on Syrian support for Hizbollah and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

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Middle East peace process is charade, argue experts

By Marcus Dysch, September 28, 2010

A panel of politicians, foreign affairs analysts and historians has convinced an audience of more than 1,000 people that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is a "charade".

An Intelligence Squared debate in central London last week discussed the impact of settlements, Iran and the international community on the talks.

Former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami led the argument in favour of the motion "the Middle East peace process is a charade", with former US ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk defending the process.

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Settlement freeze ends, talks teeter on knife edge

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 28, 2010

Israel's version of procrastination is epitomised in the phrase acharei ha-chagim. In other words, "after the High Holy Days", which is when Israelis promise to get things done, start a new diet and generally set their lives in order. This week, acharei ha-chagim also symbolises the next stage of the diplomatic process.

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Appeal for talks to continue as settlement freeze ends

By Jennifer Lipman, September 27, 2010

Benjamin Netanyahu has called for "expedited, honest talks" with the Palestinians to continue as the ten-month-long settlement construction freeze came to an end.

In a statement, the Israeli Prime Minister said: "Israel is ready to pursue continuous contacts in the coming days to find a way to continue peace talks."

US officials also urged the negotiations to continue despite the expiry of the moratorium.

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Israel may swap spy for settlement freeze

By Jennifer Lipman, September 21, 2010

Israel is believed to be considering a peace deal under which construction in the West Bank would remain halted in return for the freeing of a Jewish American jailed by the US for spying in 1987.

A freeze on settlement building is due to expire on September 24 and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has warned that he will leave the recently revived Middle East talks if it is not extended.

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