Friday, March 19, 2010

Palestinians refuse peace talks; Reuters blames Israel

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been intransigent about entering into negotiations with Israel absent a complete halt in Jewish residential building anywhere outside of the 1949 Armistice Lines.  This, despite a commitment by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in November to freeze new building in Judea and Samaria (also, the "West Bank") for 10 months, a commitment originally hailed by US Secretary of State Clinton as "unprecedented".  120 days can be an eternity in the Middle East but some things never change.

Following the "unhelpful" (Tony Blair) announcement of stage 3 of the 7 stages necessary to commence building in the religious community of Ramat Shlomo -- an announcement not a dot inconsistent with Israel's commitment to the US in November -- Reuters of course, blames Israel for the Palestinians balking at so-called proximity talks:
The latest obstacle to the peace talks came 10 days ago when Israel announced, during a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, that it would build 1,600 new housing units in a part of Jerusalem that it captured in 1967 and annexed unilaterally. [italics ours]
The Palestinians had finally agreed to proximity talks prior to the brouhaha over Ramat Shlomo and then unilaterally and strategically reversed their decision after the Obama administration withdrew its applause for Israeli concessions.  For Reuters however, it is always Israel which creates obstacles.

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