The I-P Conflict is Difficult to Solve - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Jeff Northridge
    • 10.11.05 | 18:29 (IST)

    The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a complicated problem to solve. Many have tried and all have failed. There are so many issues to be simultaneously addressed that it boggles the imagination. The Israeli government can come to an agreement and honor it, but the PA cannot do so because they have no control over the Palestinian militant groups. Israel is quite reluctant to even enter into negotiations while terrorist attacks continue and since the PA will not or cannot do anything about them, Israel must act unilaterally to neutralize them before any progress can be made. By completing the security fence/wall in the West Bank, Israel can virtually eliminate terrorist attacks emanating from there just like she did with the Gaza Strip. The security fence will take about two more years to finish and will in effect define the border between Israel and the West Bank subject to minor adjustments here and there. The Israeli-Gaza Strip border is already fenced, well-defined by the Israeli-Egyptian Territorial Exchange Agreement of 1950, and internationally recognized. Then, peace negotiations can start because the Palestinian militants will be able to do very little to sabotage them except to assassinate their own political leaders. So, final status negotiations will probably start in late 2007. Israel will have to abandon her demand that the Palestinian militants be disarmed, continue negotiations no matter what the terrorists do (although she can retaliate against them), and be prepared to evacuate all Israeli settlements and all IDF personnel that lie on the Palestinian side of the fence. The PA will have to abandon its demand of the Green Line as the border, the so-called ?right of return? of Palestinian refugees (although a just settlement can be expected), and any claim to Jerusalem as the capitol of Palestine and those Israeli settlements which lie on the Israeli side of the fence. The main issue is to agree on exactly where the border is. Without that, nothing else can happen. Other issues which can then be addressed are: a just settlement for refugees or their descendants (both Palestinian and Jewish), pilgrimages to holy sites on both sides, water rights and distribution, security and border control, work permits and trade (if any), penalties for violations of the agreement, and a host of other stuff. All this must take place before there is to be a Palestinian State. No matter what agreement is finally reached (if ever), there will be a significant percentage of people on both sides who won?t like it one bit. Hence, it?s probably best to just seal the border between the two states for about a century.

    from the article: Don't count on America
    First published 00:00 10.11.05 | Last updated 00:00 10.11.05
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