Instead of peace, reconciliation, equity and justice, Israel plans settlement expansions and more Walls. More on them below.
At the same time, Abbas broke his pledge about no peace talks unless settlement expansions stop. Chief negotiators Saeb Erekat and Yitzhak Molcho are meeting in Amman, Jordan. They’re joined by Quartet representatives.
Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev claims “talks are intended to move forward to negotiations.”
PLO spokesman Xavier Abu Eid said, “We are just trying to create the right environment for talks.” Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat sidestepped controversy, saying “I would not make a big deal out of it.”
According to Abbas:
The meeting “was a response to a noble initiative by the brothers in Jordan in an attempt to push forward the peace process and to bridge gaps.”
“God willing, results of this meeting will be revealed in the coming two days, and based on that we will set the suitable grounds for resuming negotiations. This would be positive, and we hope Jordan will succeed.”
In fact, Abbas and other PLO leaders know decades of peace talks proved fruitless. Israel doesn’t negotiate. It demands. Settlement construction won’t stop. Neither will Israel’s Separation Wall and others on three borders – Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. More on them below.
Claiming meeting in Amman doesn’t begin new talks is duplicitous, even though what follows is uncertain. Hamas denounced them. Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri wants them boycotted, saying they replicate a “failed policy.”
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) calls them an affront, a clear setback, and “severe political mistake,” benefitting Israel alone. The Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA) opposes them while land theft, home demolitions, and settlement expansions continue.
They benefit Israel at the expense of Palestine. Notably, as talks began, Israel’s Housing Ministry announced 300 new East Jerusalem housing units on stolen Palestinian land. They’re part of 500 units announced in mid-December.
At the time, Housing Minister Ariel Atias said it’s “clear that in any future agreement, these neighborhoods will stay under Israel’s sovereignty,” as well as others yet to be announced.
According to the NGO Ir Amim:
“By releasing (tenders) at this time, Israel is slapping the face of King Abdullah and the entire international community, morbidly injuring the already low chances of peace talks to be renewed,” and eliminating success if initiated.
Israel’s Agenda: Settlement Construction and Walls, not Peace
Stop the Wall.org (STW) is a “Palestinian movement against the (Separation) Wall.” It wants it dismantled and Palestine liberated.
“The Wall is an integral part of the Zionist project to remove Palestinians from Palestine.”
“The Palestinian struggle is, at its core, a basic human instinct and drive for self-determination. It is a fight against expulsion and subjugation under Occupation.”
It wants Wall construction stopped, portions built dismantled, all confiscated lands returned, and compensation paid victims for lost homes, businesses, farmland, orchards, olive groves, and other property.
Projected to exceed 800 km when completed, its route is largely within the Green Line. It’s not for security. It’s land theft plain and simple, around 12% of Palestine, with:
34 fortified checkpoints, including three main terminals, nine commercial ones, and 22 others for cars and workers to control Palestinian movement;
44 tunnels, connecting 22 “small ghettos inside 3 main ghettos (West Bank’s north, central and south);”
634 checkpoints or other military obstructions, including trenches, roadblocks, and metal gates; and
1,661 km of Jews-only roads, connecting settlements and accompanying blocs, complementing the Wall.