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We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
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Leon Rosselson, letter to the Guardian, 28 July 2014

“Before the current round of violence, the West Bank had been relatively quiet for years,” writes Jonathan Freedland (Israel’s fears are real, but this war is utterly self-defeating, 26 July). According to B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights centre, 90 West Bank Palestinians were killed, 16 of them children, by the IDF or by settlers between January 2009 and May 2014. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there have been 2,100 settler attacks since 2006, involving beatings, shootings, vandalising schools, homes, mosques, churches and destroying olive groves. According to Amnesty International, between January 2011 and December 2013, Israeli violence resulted in injuries to 1,500 Palestinian children. “Relatively quiet” for whom?
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Posts

Say we’re a Jewish state demands Netanyahu — it’s not about land


Israeli wall built on Palestinian land occupied since 1967 — it’s not about land says Netanyahu. Photo by Tamar Fleishman

Israel PM Says ‘Conflict Not about Territory’

By Palestine Chronicle
May 02 2013

Israel’s prime minister says the conflict with the Palestinians is not about territory, rather the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland, appearing to counter a modified peace proposal from the Arab world.

Benjamin Netanyahu has not commented directly on the Arab League’s latest initiative, but his words on Wednesday questioned its central tenet, the exchange of captured land for peace.

The original 2002 Arab initiative offered a comprehensive peace between Israel and the Muslim world in exchange for a withdrawal from all territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

Sweetening the offer this week, the Arab sponsor said final borders could be drawn through mutually agreed land swaps.

Netanyahu questioned the premise that borders are the key.

“The root of the conflict isn’t territorial. It began way before 1967,” he told Israeli diplomats.

“The Palestinians’ failure to accept the state of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people is the root of the conflict. If we reach a peace agreement, I want to know that the conflict won’t continue, that the Palestinians won’t come later with more demands.”

Fate of Refugees
The Palestinians have rejected Netanyahu’s demand to recognise Israel as a Jewish state, saying it would undermine the rights of Israel’s Arab minority as well as millions of refugees scattered throughout the world whose families lost properties during the war surrounding Israel’s establishment in 1948.

The fate of the refugees is a core issue that would need to be resolved as part of a final peace deal.

Though Netanyahu’s office has remained silent on the modified Arab proposal, his chief peace negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, has welcomed it, as have Israel’s president and the main opposition parties.

It’s not about land: An Israeli flag fluttering over a view of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ofra. Photo by  Reuters

However, Netanyahu’s own political base and one of his main government coalition partners are either opposed to giving up land or suspicious of the Arabs’ motivations.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani tried to allay some of the Israeli concerns as he presented the offer on Monday.

‘Comparable’ Land Swaps
Speaking on behalf of an Arab League delegation, Hamad reiterated the need to base an agreement between Israel and a future Palestine on the 1967 lines, but for the first time, he cited the possibility of “comparable”, mutually agreed and “minor” land swaps between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

John Kerry, US secretary of state, called the new peace plan a “very big step forward”.

Palestinian officials were cool to the concept.

The original 2002 Arab peace initiative offered Israel peace with the entire Arab world in exchange for a “complete withdrawal” from territories captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

The Palestinians claim the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, all seized by Israel in 1967, for their future state.

Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

(Agencies and AlJazeera.com)

Link

See Land swaps – deal-breaker or deal-maker for several articles on this issue.

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