Peace process

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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Olmert: Bush offered Palestinians citizenship

By Jennifer Lipman, September 20, 2010

The former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, has revealed details of a comprehensive Middle East peace deal proposed in September 2008 but rejected by Palestinian negotiators.

According to Mr Olmert, the deal would have involved shared governance of Jerusalem and seen the then United States president George W Bush offer 100,000 Palestinians US citizenship.

The scope of the concessions offered by Mr Olmert was confirmed by Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

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On this day: the Camp David Accords

By Jennifer Lipman, September 17, 2010

Three decades after Israel’s independence and 22 years after the Suez Crisis Egypt became the first Arab country to recognise its right to exist.

After 12 days of secret and intensive negotiations overseen by US president Jimmy Carter at the Maryland estate, an agreement was reached between Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat giving Egypt control of the Sinai Peninsula.

The events of September 1978 ultimately became the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, signed in March 1979. Mr Begin and Mr Sadat later shared the Nobel Peace Prize and by 1982 Israel had completely left the Sinai area.

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US adviser: Israeli-Palestinian talks are a charade

By Marcus Dysch, September 17, 2010

A senior military strategist and former US government adviser has launched a blistering attack on the current Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, deriding the process as a "charade".

Edward Luttwak, a senior associate at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, in Washington DC, said the "interference of frivolous people" would not bring about peace in the Middle East.

The process was, he said, "a perverse, deeply perverted mechanism that masquerades in humanitarian clothes".

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Hamas marks peace talks with terror film

By Jennifer Lipman, September 16, 2010

Hamas has made a film showing the imagined destruction of Israel.

The terrorist organisation chose the launch of the second stage of the revived peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians to release the video.

"Apocalypse Tomorrow", created by Hamas operatives, has had more than 45,000 views. It depicts Israeli sites such as the Supreme Court falling to missile attacks and the streets of Tel Aviv laid to waste.

A Palestinian says: “Inshallah, the Jihad will take back the homeland", while students tell a teacher they want to join the fight for “liberation”.

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Analysis: Peace talks? More like high-risk pregnancy

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 16, 2010

Do not buy into the hype being created by the Americans about the first round of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on Wednesday that the sides have begun discussing the "core issues", but even if that is technically true, talking about the issues is a long way from any agreement.

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Rockets hit southern Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, September 15, 2010

A Palestinian is believed to have been killed in an IDF airstrike undertaken in retaliation for terrorists in Gaza stepping up attacks on Israel.

As Benajmin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas met for peace talks in Jerusalem, at least nine mortar shells and two rockets were sent into southern Israel, the highest daily total in six months.

One Kassam rocket exploded near the city of Ashkelon in an industrial area.

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Clinton: Netanyahu and Abbas 'serious' about talks

By Jennifer Lipman, September 15, 2010

Hillary Clinton has praised the Israeli and Palestinian leaders for taking the peace negotiations seriously.

As a second day of direct Middle East peace talks commenced, this time in Jerusalem, the US Secretary of State said Benajmin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas were "getting down to business".

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