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Kerry's Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Doomed to Failure, Israeli Cabinet Member Naftali Bennett Brags About Killing Arabs, Calls for Killing More

August 1, 2013

PA urges investigation into Bennet's 'kill Arabs' remarks

 01/08/2013, 12:19

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) --

Naftali Bennett talks to students at a pre-military religious school, north-east of Ashkelon on January 20, 2013.(AFP/Maan File) John Kerry between Saeb Erikat and Tzipi Livni in Washington, July 30, 2013


The Palestinian Authority (PA) Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday called on Israel to investigate remarks made by Israel's Economy and Trade Minister, which made claims about killing Palestinians.

Naftali Bennett, leader of the far-right Jewish Home partner, commented to Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot following news of a Palestinian prisoner release that: "If you catch terrorists, you have to simply kill them."

"I've killed lots of Arabs in my life – and there's no problem with that," he went on to say.

The PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that based on these confessions, "the Israeli government has to open a transparent and legal investigation into these remarks and allow Palestinian rights advocates to follow the investigation."

The ministry urged Palestinian, Israeli and international rights organizations to take Bennet's remarks seriously and hold him accountable.

On Tuesday, the General Delegation of the PLO to the United States strongly condemned the "racist" remarks and called for international action.

"It is extremely alarming that a public Israeli official at the ministerial level calls for murder and utters explicitly racist remarks without being held accountable."

Analysts: Peace talks 'doomed'

Ma'an, 01/08/2013 12:20 JERUSALEM (AFP) --

Middle East peace talks, which resumed in Washington after a three-year break, are doomed to fail, Palestinian analysts said Wednesday, after negotiators set a nine-month target for an agreement.

Despite Israel announcing the release of 104 prisoners as a confidence-building measure, analysts said that ordinary Palestinians would take little interest in the talks, which they would regard as a sop to Washington.

"The talks are doomed to failure. There's no chance for success," Palestinian political analyst Abdul Majid Suwailim told AFP.

"These talks are to make the United States happy, because the US still sees the Palestinian issue as a key to solving the problems in the Middle East," he said.

"The US knows its strategy in the region has failed with the recent changes (in Arab countries) and it wants to force the Israelis and Palestinians to the table, not because talks will succeed but because it needs them to happen," he said.

Israel's release of 104 inmates imprisoned before the 1993 Oslo accords, agreed by the government on Sunday, would fail to appease the Palestinian public or convince them talks are serious this time, Suwailim said.

"The Palestinian public is not convinced by a return to talks the basis of which is unclear. They won't be appeased by a release of prisoners -- no matter how sensitive that issue is -- for half-hearted commitments to talks."

Fellow Palestinian analyst Hani Habib agreed.

"The Palestinian street isn't interested in, and doesn't think it's affected by, what happens in the peace process," he said.

"The average Palestinian citizen has grown accustomed to years of there being no talks, and is more interested in their own wellbeing. The only elements of Palestinian society interested in the big (peace) issues are the politicians and the media.

"Releasing the prisoners was, in the eyes of the public, something that should have happened after the Oslo accords anyway, so it shouldn't be seen as a special favor for a return to talks," Habib said.

Political analyst Samir Awad too said the prisoner release would be taken for granted by Palestinians.

"The freeing of prisoners is a goodwill gesture by an Israel under pressure from the United States. But it's not enough, and doesn't mean negotiations will succeed," Awad said.

"The prisoners should have been released after Oslo. Their release won't be enough for the Palestinian people, even though the day it happens will be a big occasion.

"The Palestinian people don't feel they're part of the peace process. The decision to return to talks was communicated by the media first, not by Palestinian officials," Awad added.

Suwailim said there was not enough at stake politically to push President Mahmoud Abbas to make progress in the talks.

"Abbas's popularity is in no way linked to the return to talks, and he won't lose the people's confidence because of entering (failed) negotiations."

Suwailim said that Abbas's main goal would be to ensure Israel took the blame for the failure of the talks and he said that should be achievable given the fierce opposition to any deal from within Israel's right-leaning governing coalition.

"Israel isn't ready. The government itself is split over the issue" with some openly opposing the creation of a Palestinian state, he said.

And the analysts said the issue of the illegal Israeli Jewish settlements (built on confiscated Palestinian lands) in the occupied West Bank, which triggered the breakdown of the last round of talks in September 2010, would prove even more of a sticking point this time with hardline pro-settler ministers inside the Israeli government.

"Israel can't stand up to the extremist settler lobby. How could it evict half a million (illegal) Jewish settlers? It's doomed to failure.

"But it's important for Israel to reach the stage where it faces off with the settlers. At that point, the failure of the talks will be its responsibility," Awad said.

Hamas lashes out at “futile” negotiations

[ 31/07/2013 - 05:30 PM ]


Hamas movement lashed out at the PA in Ramallah for indulging anew in “futile” negotiations with the Israeli occupation.

The movement said in a statement on Wednesday that Fatah should take heed of previous pointless negotiations and not to wager on those who “kill our people and Judaize our land and rob our wealth”.

A responsible source in Hamas expressed utter dismay at the PA for swiftly returning to negotiations in return for political illusions and economic profits at a time the Israeli occupation’s crimes did not stop against the Palestinian people, prisoners, land and holy shrines.

The source said that the Fat'h-controlled PA should have rather implemented articles of the national reconciliation and not to decide single-handedly on fateful issues.

Hamas emphasized the importance of agreeing on a unified national consensus that would defend and preserve national rights and constants.

Popular and factional rejection of resumption of talks

[ 31/07/2013 - 04:38 PM ]


The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has declared its total rejection of the PA decision to resume negotiations saying that its decision does not represent the will of the Palestinian people.

Member of the PFLP political bureau, Abu Ahmed Fouad, said in a press statement Tuesday that "no one has the right to impose his own decisions on the state institutions which represent the Palestinian people.

He called on the PA to draw lessons from its previous failed experiences of peace talks and to form a new national strategy different from Oslo accords.

He condemned the PA forces' attack on Sunday protest, stressing on the Palestinian factions' right to organize popular activities to prevent the PA's unilateral decision to offer serious concessions to the Israelis.

Meanwhile, a leader in Jihad movement, Haj Abu Samer Mosa renewed his movement rejection of the resumption of talks , saying that this step contradicts the national consensus.

The PA will achieve nothing from resuming talks, but will only deepen the national division, he said, stressing that it was better for the PA to achieve the reconciliation agreement instead of running behind the Israeli and American illusion.

He pointed out that the PA step to resume negotiation came amid Israeli decision to implement the Prawer plan that constitutes a new Palestinian catastrophe.

Meanwhile, dozens have participated Tuesday in a protest against peace negotiations in Nablus, where they chanted slogans against the "absurd negotiations" that do not meet with the PLO preconditions for the resumption of talks.

A leader in PFLP said that talks resumption came in light the American pressures on the Palestinian people, stressing that Abbas took a unilateral decision despite the Palestinian factional rejection.


Gov't: The PA's talks with the occupation are another round of its failures

[ 31/07/2013 - 12:06 PM ]


The Palestinian government in Gaza said the Palestinian authority (PA) reproduced another chapter of its failures when it decided to resume its US-sponsored negotiations with the Israeli occupation regime.

In a press release issued following its cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the government stated that the PA's negotiations with the Israeli regime adversely affected the Palestinian cause and whetted the Israeli appetite for more aggressive actions and settlement expansion activities.

It expressed its belief that the USA eventually succeeded in dragging the PA into the quarter of regression and concessions and having it sit at the negotiating table in exchange for some trivial privileges unrelated to the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

The government also strongly denounced the Fatah faction and its security agencies for being involved in smear campaigns against the Palestinian people and Hamas, and using the Egyptian media to spread fabricated news and stories against them.

It stressed that such acts reflect that Fatah and its institutions have no moral standards or national affiliation, and insist on playing a dubious role in standing against the interests of the Palestinian people.

Ending the division more important than resumption of talks, says MP Najat Abu Baker

[ 31/07/2013 - 05:10 PM ]


Palestinian MP Najat Abu Bakr, July 31, 2013 pic

MP Najat Abu Baker, affiliated with the Fat'h movement, stated that ending the division and achieving the national construction is more important than negotiation option.

MP Baker told Quds Press that the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations had never been stopped, pointing out that the PA came as a result of negotiations which were scheduled to lead to a state with full sovereignty, but Israel repudiated the agreement.

The MP for Fatah movement stated that the majority of Fat'h members is in support of Abbas' decision to resume talks with the occupation especially after the Israeli vow to release a number of prisoners and the international parties' keenness to achieve the talks success for fear of prosecuting the occupation in the international courts.

It was better to resume talks after achieving the national unity, she said, pointing out that ending the division is more important than resuming talks and meetings with the occupation authorities.

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