Monday, October 20, 2008

Security for Israel off Agenda

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

The United States and European Union (EU) have blamed Israel for the lack of progress in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and insist on more "goodwill" measures while omitting concerns about terrorist attacks. Previous statements always have included the condition of security for Israel which has been directed to make more concessions to the PA, such as removing checkpoints intended to stop terrorists before they can attack.

However, the latest statement by European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering ignores the issue of security and lays the blame squarely on Israel for failure to conclude negotiations.
The latest statement by European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering ignores the issue of security.

He said that the expansion of Jewish communities and the IDF's maintaining checkpoints in Judea and Samaria "are the two outstanding issues to be resolved in the Middle East conflict." In a recent speech to the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly in Jordan, Poettering said expanding Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria "is undermining the Palestinians' confidence."

He also charged that the checkpoints' "extremely restricted freedom of movement of the Palestinians prevents investment in and recovery of the Palestinian economy." In the past week, soldiers manning the checkpoints have caught several terrorists brandishing weapons and trying to smuggle bombs.

United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is trying to show some kind of achievement after more than 20 trips to Israel and the PA. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters that the question of who is leading the Israeli government is holding up negotiations.

"Once you do get an Israeli government that is fully up and running and ready to actively push forward on that front, we'll see where those discussions lead," he told reporters.

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