The long-forgotten art of diplomacy - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Tosefta
    • 12.06.07 | 15:53 (IDT)

    The source of trouble is the Israeli government's refusal to negotiate peace with Abbas. Israel has declared that as long as Hamas is dominant in the PA government, every member of the government (including Fatah and independents) will be boycotted and there will be no peace talks with Abbas. A nonsensical position based on no known principle. And while there is "no partner", Israel not only besieges the PA government financially (more than any other country), but refuses to have a cease fire in the West Bank. Israel continues to hunt down militants in the WB, and their organizations answer with Qassams from Gaza. Recently, a large number of civilians (including a fetus) were killed in WB, and Hamas felt obliged to respond. So now we have fire in both WB and Gaza. The way to go: 1. Agree to a cease fire in BOTH Gaza and West Bank. Hamas and Fatah have agreed to impose it on the smaller groups. If the cease fire is violated, Israel can always cancel it, so there is nothing to fear. 2. A week or two after the last shot has been fired, Israel removes many unnecessary roadblocks in WB, and Abbas upgrades border control on the Egyptian border. EU lifts its siege on the PA. 3. When all is well (at a specified time), Israel lifts its financial siege over Hamas and exchanges Shalit. (This will reduce the price for Shalit.) 4. Independent of no.3, start peace negotiations with Abbas, then bring it to a referendum. It will be approved, as polls suggest. 5. Hamas either accepts the deal or will lose its popular support and decline. In any case, time for new elections and implementation of the deal. (The peace deals should have a provision disallowing a party not accepting it from participating in politics.)

    from the article: In the name of Islam?
    First published 00:00 12.06.07 | Last updated 00:00 12.06.07
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