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Peace Talks On Hold As Bibi’s Coalition Begins To Fray

JERUSALEM – On the eve of Passover, the Festival of Freedom, Jonathan Pollard remains in an American prison, as Israel’s release of Palestinian prisoners and U.S.-brokered peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is on hold until at least after the Passover holiday.

One high-ranking Israeli official, knowledgeable about the negotiations between U.S. peace envoy Martin Indyk, Israel’s lead negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and her Palestinian counterpart, Saeb Erekat, told Channel 10 News, “there was no chance that negotiations will be restarted in the coming weeks.” The official predicted that Secretary of State John Kerry’s April 29 deadline to resolve outstanding issues and move forward on creating a framework to continue talks would not be met. Erekat acknowledged to several Arab media outlets that “the gaps remain very wide” between Israel and the PA.

Several senior Israeli government officials were angered by Kerry’s recent statements at a congressional hearing blaming Israel for the temporary halt of negotiations due to its failure to release Palestinian and Israeli Arab prisoners and for beginning the process of building new apartment complexes in a Jerusalem neighborhood known by the parties to likely be part of Israel in any final peace agreement.

Another Israeli government official told Channel 2 News that Kerry never received permission from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Livni to include Israeli Arab prisoners in the final phase of the prisoner exchange. Kerry reportedly admitted that he had “made a mistake.” But when PA President Mahmoud Abbas unilaterally signed numerous United Nations treaties after having pledged to not do so, Netanyahu suspended the talks and counteracted Abbas’s moves.

Netanyahu has asked the Israeli tax authorities to withhold part of the import taxes that are funneled to the PA on foreign goods delivered to Israeli ports and transferred overland to the PA. He has also demanded payment owed by the PA to the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) to ease the IEC’s heavy debt. Those debts have forced Israeli consumers to pay ever-higher electricity rates.

During the break in talks, Netanyahu is expected to work toward shoring up his governing coalition. At least three party leaders have threatened to bolt the coalition while a fourth openly admitted he “wouldn’t mind if new elections were held in the near future.”

Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett told Netanyahu that his party would leave the government if Israeli Arab prisoners were released and settlement construction was frozen or temporarily suspended as part of extending the peace negotiations.

Meanwhile, senior-ranking MKs from Yesh Atid and Hatnua told Israel Hayom that their parties would also leave the coalition if Netanyahu didn’t find a way to extend the negotiations with the PA until the end of 2014. Foreign Minister and Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman, who has said that Abbas does not have the political will or authority to conclude a deal with Israel, prefers that Netanyahu call for new elections in order to remove Hatnua and Yesh Atid from the coalition.

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3 Responses to “Peace Talks On Hold As Bibi’s Coalition Begins To Fray”

  1. Abbas & his plo have not the political will nor the authority to conclude a deal with Israel. So why Abbas & his plo still are in Israel?
    wouldn't the daily life of the arabs of judea, shomron & gaza be better & improve without Abbas & his plo? Are the arabs of judea, shomron & gaza capable of runing their own autonomy without Abbas & the plo?

  2. They're in Israel, Joseph, because of the Oslo agreement. That brought the PLO into J&S from exile in Tunisia. They were in Tunisia because the IDF had let them escape from Lebanon. The IDF let them escape from Lebanon due to extreme pressure to do so by the Reagan administration, who in turn was under extreme pressure from the Saudis, upon whom we in the U.S. were heavily dependent on at that time for oil.

    We are no longer very dependent on the Saudis for oil. We get most of our imported oil from Canada and Mexico, and we are now producing more here. But the Saudis have used their money to buy a lot of influence here in our national government, our academe, and our media. Obama is more or less their Manchurian Candidate. He is there mostly in order to shove their "peace" [surrender] plan down Israel's throat. And if he can't do that, he'll abandon Israel at the UN.

    Some dispute the claim that Obama is a Saudi Manchurian Candidate, citing the disagreements between Obama and the Gulf Arabs over how to handle Iran's nuke program. But this is easily explained. Obama has been so thoroughly brainwashed by his Gulf Arab-supported handlers – Rashid Khalidi, Khalid Al-Mansour, Edward Said – that the Palestinian "problem" is THE biggest issue in the world today, that he has made this the #1 priority of his presidency. His most important tool of leverage in blackmailing Israel is the threat of an imminently nuclear Iran.

    This is why Obama sat on his hands during the uprising in Iran in '09, why he has spared no effort at discouraging Israel from acting decisively against Iran's nuke weapons program, and has signed this sham "interim agreement" with the Mad Mullahs. I'm sure the Gulf Arabs now wish they could "de-program" Obama over the importance of the "Palestinian problem", so that he'd do something about Iran already, but it is too late. He's their Frankenstein Monster, anti-Israel political cruise missile. He's on autopilot and he can't be recalled. Too bad for them….now they have to depend on the hated Zionist Entity to save them from Iran! Funny how that worked out…they installed Obama to screw Israel, and they mostly wound up screwing themselves. Further proof that our G-d is with us, my friend.

    Happy Passover, Joseph, and all other readers here.

  3. Robert Vincent, the Saudis managed the 9/11 attacks, not the poor Talibans, the Saudis brainwashed the US goverment.

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