BiBi Makes Concessions, But Palestinians Want Obama to ‘Impose a Solution’
April 24, 2010
(ChattahBox)—-Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians inched forward towards a peaceful solution on Saturday, or perhaps ground was lost. It’s hard to tell in such a toxic political climate, made worse by soured relations between Israel and the United States. But two events occurred over the weekend that may eventual lead towards peace in the Middle East. First, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered a number of concessions to the Palestinians, including the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners from Israel prisons. And secondly and more significantly, Netanyahu reportedly agreed to create a Palestinian state within temporary borders covering over 60 percent of West Bank territories. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the idea of a state with temporary borders, demanding that president Obama unilaterally “impose a solution.” Two steps forward, three steps backwards, such is the status quo of Mideast peace talks.
After meeting with U.S. Special Envoy George Mitchell, Abbas spoke before members of his Fatah party, rejecting Israel’s offer of temporary statehood and demanding that Obama impose a solution:
“Mr. President [Barack Obama] and members of the American administration, since you believe in this [an independent Palestinian state], it is your duty to take steps toward a solution and to impose this solution,” Abbas said.
“We’ve asked them [the Obama administration] more than once: ‘Impose a solution,’” Abbas said.
Abbas didn’t react positively to the temporary statehood offer, suggesting that he was concerned the borders would become permanent.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu refused to halt settlement construction in East Jerusalem and rejected the proposal to return all territories classified as Area C in the West Bank to Palestinian control.
The Obama administration is pressing for “proximity talks” between Israel and the Palestinian, viewing peace in the war-torn region, as a vital component to combating Islamic terrorists and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.