From dailyalert.org, Apr. 4, 2014. Click on the title of any article to see the whole article…Ed.
Israel Cancels Fourth Prisoner Release Over Palestinian UN Step – Jonathan Ferziger
Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, one of Israel’s two chief negotiators, told Palestinian counterpart Saeb Erekat Thursday that Israel has canceled the release of 26 Palestinian prisoners in response to renewed efforts by Palestinians to gain recognition at the UN. (Bloomberg)
See also Livni: PA Knew Israel Was Working on Agreement to Release Prisoners – Herb Keinon
Livni said the Palestinians’ unilateral application to UN conventions and treaties came at a time when they knew full well that Israel was working in a coordinated and genuine fashion to reach an agreement that would have led to the release of the Palestinian prisoners.
Since the agreement to release them was dependent on the Palestinians upholding their commitment not to turn to international organizations, “under these conditions Israel cannot release the fourth batch of prisoners,” Livni said. She called on the Palestinians to retract their move and return to negotiations. (Jerusalem Post)
See also Palestinians Set New Conditions for Peace Talks to Continue – Khaled Abu Toameh
The Palestinian Authority has set new conditions for agreeing to extend the peace talks with Israel after April, PA officials in Ramallah saidThursday. The new Palestinian conditions include Israeli recognition of the pre-1967 lines as the future borders of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital and the release of 1,200 Palestinian prisoners including three senior prisoners.
The new conditions also include a complete cessation of settlement construction, PA sovereignty over Area C in the West Bank, and a halt of Israeli military operations in PA-controlled territories. Other conditions include lifting the blockade on Gaza, as well as the return of Palestinian gunmen who were deported to Gaza and Europe.
Fatah leader Ziad Abu Ein, quoting chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat, said that if Israel accepts these conditions and releases the fourth batch of prisoners, then the PA would agree to pursue the negotiations until the end of the year. (Jerusalem Post)
See also Palestinian Negotiator Says Reported Demands Came from Fatah, Not PA – Jack Khoury (Ha’aretz)
The Obama administration will re-evaluate its role in the foundering Middle East peace talks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry saidFriday. A clearly distressed Kerry said it is “reality check time” for the peace process. (AP-Wall Street Journal)
John Kerry, Thwarted by the Middle East – Jeffrey Goldberg
Well, God bless John Kerry for trying. President Obama’s administration, and specifically its secretary of state, deserve credit for maintaining the belief – in a very American, very solutionist sort of way – that the application of logic and good sense and creative thinking could bring about, over time, a two-state solution to the 100-year Arab-Jewish war.
Maybe Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will come to realize that his decision to seek international recognition of an imaginary state of Palestine is not the cleverest way to bring about the creation of an actual Palestinian state, assuming a Palestinian state is what he actually wants.
Abbas wants the international community to hand him a perfect, ready-made Palestine. But the moral support of Bolivia and Malawi will not bring about the creation of a state. Only Israel can conjure a Palestinian state into existence. (Bloomberg)