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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

Israel-Palestine peace vital for stability of region: French FM


French foreign minister Laurent Fabius on an earlier visit to Palestine where they agreed a convention on financial aid to Palestine on 7 June 2012. Photo by Pierre Verdy/AFP

France: Mideast needs peace deal ‘more than ever’

After meeting Abbas in Ramallah, French FM Fabius says successful Israel-PA talks will be ‘great stabilizing element’

By AFP/Ynet news
August 24, 2013

A successful outcome to the Israel-Palestinians negotiations would be like a “thunderbolt” for peace in the crisis-ridden Middle East, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Saturday.

“Even if we speak of other neighboring countries — the dramatic conflict in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt — the fact remains that the Israeli-Palestinian issue is one of the issues, perhaps the central one, for the region,” he said in the West Bank city of Ramallah, after meeting Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

“In a particularly troubled regional environment, it is even more important that we advance towards peace here,” Fabius said.

“If these negotiations are successful, it will be a thunderbolt for peace…a great stabilizing element.”

“Our support is more necessary than ever,” he added. “This is the moment when we must make a breakthrough for peace.”

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators formally resumed direct peace talks earlier this month after a hiatus of nearly three years, thanks to an intense bout of shuttle diplomacy by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

They are expected to last about nine months.

Fabius arrived early Saturday on a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories aimed at encouraging the sides.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Fabius, Abbas said that his team entered the talks, about which no details have been revealed, in good faith.

“I should like to say that the Palestinians are negotiating with good intentions,” he said. “We want to negotiate in a positive spirit.”

“We hope that it is the same on the Israeli side, we want to create the proper climate for stopping settlement, which is illegal to us and to the world.”

The talks have been overshadowed by Israeli plans to build more than 2,000 new homes for Jewish settlers on occupied Palestinian territory.

Fabius will meet in Jerusalem on Sunday with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Israel’s lead negotiator in the talks.

The Palestinians said Friday they have “serious doubts” about Israel’s commitment to the peace talks, but they remain committed to taking part in the negotiations.

“We do not have high expectations of the negotiations so far because we know in advance the official position of the Israeli government,” foreign minister Riyad al-Malki said on visit to Quito, Ecuador.

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