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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Amman’

Abbas: No Progress in Amman

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

PA president Mahmoud Abbas announced that the ongoing exploratory peace talks with Israel have ended without any progress,  but allowed the possibility of continuing the low-level discussions.

Israel has professed its desire to continue the talks, while analysts agree that Abbas is under growing pressure to continue the dialogue.

The Quartet declared in October 2011 that it expected the parties to submit detailed proposals on borders and security arrangements by January 26, 2012.

The low-level talks of the past three weeks have been an attempt to agree on a framework for direct negotiations.

 

Peace Talks Over, Abbas Says

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared peace talks with Israel over on Wednesday, ending a series of low-level meetings that brought no tangible results despite pressure from the United States, the European Union and the talks’ Jordanian hosts.

The final meeting of five held in Amman between PA representative Saeb Erekat and Israeli representative Yitzhak Molcho broke down over the issue of borders, with the PA insisting on exchanging solid proposals and Israel presenting only maps of areas to be negotiated over in higher-level talks. Palestinians have demanded that the 1967 cease-fire line be considered the border between Israel and a Palestinian state, while Israel has insisted on deviations from that line.

Even before the meeting on Wednesday, PA and Israeli officials declared the talks fruitless, with each side trying to portray the other as the recalcitrant one.

American and European leaders had urged both sides to find common ground on borders, security arrangements and other issues that could set the stage for higher-level negotiations. EU foreign policy chief Catherin Ashton, currently visiting Israel and the PA, stressed European hopes for progress.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II even intimated that failure in the Amman talks would mean worse relations between his kingdom and Israel – possibly including freezing diplomatic ties – in an attempt to pressure Jerusalem.

An official in Jerusalem was quoted as saying that Israel hoped to continue talks with the Palestinians, while Abbas said he would consult with the Arab League on further steps. “We hope that the Palestinians aren’t looking for an excuse to walk away from the table,” the official said.

Report: Palestinians Demand Prisoner Release to Continue Talks

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Palestinian negotiators have demanded the release of senior terror leaders in Israeli prison in order to continue talks with Israel, the Gulf News reported Wednesday.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are currently meeting in Amman to agree on a formula for moving onto direct negotiations. The Quartet had imposed a deadline that is set to expire Thursday.

The report quoted a senior Fatah official as saying that “[a] Palestinian approval to direct negotiations, a two-month extension to the Quartet deadline and the continuation of the Amman exploratory meetings is possible only if Palestinian prisoners are released.”

The Palestinians are reportedly seeking the deportation of Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti and Ahmed Sa’adat, secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Report: Jordan Considering Diplomatic Sanctions on Israel Over Palestinians

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

King Abdullah of Jordan has insinuated that relations between Israel and Jordan may suffer if Israel does not facilitate progress with the Palestinians in Jordan, according to the Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper.

The report stated that Abdullah was able to convince PA president Mahmoud Abbas to hold discussions in Amman by intimating that Jordan would consider diplomatic sanctions if Israel failed to “demonstrate it is willing to make significant concessions which will allow the Palestinian leadership to justify their return to the negotiating table.”

Palestinians Again Consider Bypassing Peace Talks For UN

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

The Palestinian Authority is again entertaining ending bilateral meetings with Israel and turning the matter to the UN.

Frustrated with the Israeli delegation’s refusal to agree to a construction freeze in Judea and Samaria before resuming peace talks, PA President Mahmoud Abbas may approach the UN to demand an end to construction, a senior Palestinian official told Al Hayat newspaper.

The official said the fourth and final meeting between Israeli envoy Itzik Molho and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, scheduled for January 25, would be critical because it would determine whether or not the two parties will move to direct negotiations.

Convicted Terror Leader Appointed PA Advisor On Eve of Negotiations

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Monday appointed a convicted terrorist as his advisor for local governments on Monday, the eve of the PA’s internationally-brokered meeting with an Israeli representative in Amman.

Mahmoud Awad Damra, “Abu Awad”,  was released from his 15 year prison sentence in October as part of Israel’s deal with Hamas to exchange 1,027 convicted criminals and terrorists for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.  Damara is the former commander of the PA presidential guard, Force 17, established by former PLO chief Yasser Arafat.  Damara was arrested outside of Ramallah and convicted in 2006 for his role in planning and coordinating numerous terror attacks, choosing locations, training killers, and supplying weapons.  His victims include US citizens Esh-Kodesh Gilmore and Rabbi Binyamin and Talia Kahane.

Rabbi Kahane was the son of the controversial Jewish activist Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was also murdered in 1990.  The “presidential decree” promoting Damra came just 2 days after the 11th anniversary of the murders of Binyamin and Talia, whose 6 children are now being raised by Talia’s sister.

Two years ago, while Damra was in prison, Abbas promoted him to the rank of major-general.  Damra served only a third of his sentence prior to release.

Israeli and Palestinian representatives will meet for the first time in 16 months to determine whether and how diplomatic negotiations would proceed.  Expectations from both sides have been reported as low.

Hamas Overtakes the Palestinian Authority in Jordan

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

As of November 29, 2011, exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshal will visit Jordan officially for the first time since he was expelled in 1999. The meeting showcases Amman’s warming relations with the terrorist group that now governs Gaza, as well as its cooling relations with Israel.

According to a statement made by Minister for Information Affairs Rakan Al-Majali, this significant visit will open with a meeting with King Abdullah II himself.

Given Jordan’s substantial Palestinian population, the Palestinian question remains integral to the country’s public discourse. In the past, the monarchy sought to quell the Muslim Brotherhood and deny power to its Palestinian sympathizers in Jordan. But the uprisings of the Arab spring have put unelected leaders on the ropes—so much so that the king now seems willing to meet Meshal face to face.

On October 17, Abdullah appointed the prominent jurist Awn Khasawneh as Jordan’s new prime minister. Khasawneh enjoys longstanding close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan and its many branches abroad, in particular Hamas. Before returning to Jordanian politics, he had served as a judge in the International Court of Justice in the Hague, where he spearheaded international criticism of Israel’s security fence. He has intimate knowledge of Jordan’s Royal Court, where he served in the mid-1990s during the negotiations leading to the 1994 peace agreement with Israel.

Meshal’s relationship with Jordan began in the 1990s when he headed the Hamas office in Amman and raised money for his causes, including suicide bombings and other attacks against Israel. In 1997, Mossad agents posing as Canadian tourists attacked Meshal by smearing his neck with a lethal poison. Some accounts suggest the poison was injected into his ear. But the operation failed when six members of the Mossad team were stranded in Jordan, and two were captured by Jordanian authorities. The sovereign at that time, King Hussein, felt betrayed by Israel, with whom he had signed a peace agreement just three years earlier over the bitter opposition of his citizens and large Palestinian refugee population. Ultimately, Hussein brokered a deal in which he released the Israeli agents in exchange for the poison’s antidote, which an Israeli doctor administered, saving Meshal’s life.

The incident almost completely derailed the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty. Much of that reconciliation had resulted from the relationship between King Hussein and former Mossad head Efraim Halevy, whom Benjamin Netanyahu—then serving in his first term as Israel’s prime minister—urgently called upon to prevent an even greater diplomatic disaster. In his biography, Man in the Shadows, Halevy writes, “The Mashal affair was a unique experience in dealing with matters of state. I came to learn how brittle the fortunes of political masters and historic figures could become. One moment they were up on high, a minute later their careers hung in the balance.”

On the Jordanian side, Khasawneh served as one of King Hussein’s point men on the Meshal affair. The botched assassination attempt solidified Meshal’s role within Hamas, and in the years since he became one of the organization’s top leaders. Today, he is Hamas’s head, so it comes as no surprise that he remained close to Khasawneh, who was one of the first to congratulate him on his new role.

In conjunction with the deal to free the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Meshal’s visit boosts Hamas’s street credibility and elevates his own status in relation to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. These events put Israel in a bind. Islamism and Islamist leaders such as Meshal are on the rise in Jordan and Egypt, the Arab countries that made peace with Israel.

In Netanyahu’s eyes, Israel offers Jordan a more secure future than Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. But will King Abdullah reach the same conclusion?

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This article first appeared in http://nationalinterest.org

Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

More than a thousand Israeli Arabs congregated in Lod to mourn George Habash, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group. Habash was buried last week in Amman, Jordan, after dying of a heart attack at the age of 81.

The choice of Lod as a place to mourn Habash may be particularly stinging to Israelis since the city was the site of one of the PFLP’s deadliest terror attacks. In 1972, the PFLP gunned down 27 people at Israel’s Lod airport.

“Habash was buried in Amman but he must be buried in [his birthplace of] Lod. Habash’s death was one of the biggest losses of the Palestinian people and Arab nation,” said Jamal Zahalka, a leader of the Israeli Arab Balad party, which holds Knesset seats.

The memorial ceremony was replete with glowing eulogies of Habash. In a march through the streets of Lod, participants brandished Palestinian flags. Local and national representatives of the Israeli Arab Hadash party were also present to mourn Habash, whose PFLP also took credit for a suicide bombing in Dimona this week that killed one civilian and wounded eleven others.

Attacks and Talks: Two Sides of a Coin

Suicide bombings and peace negotiations don’t contradict each other, according to the military wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah organization, which also took credit along with the PFLP for this week’s deadly suicide bombing.

“We need both tracks, negotiations and martyrdom attacks, in order to achieve our goal of liberating our lands,” said Abu Ahmed, a senior leader of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the northern Gaza Strip, speaking to WorldNetDaily shortly after the bombing.

This week’s bombing was the latest in a string of attacks carried out by members of Abbas’s Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades since November’s U.S.-sponsored Annapolis summit. Still, senior Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met over the past few days to further the negotiations that are designed to create a Palestinian state by the end of the year.

Terrorist Leaders: Israel Is Paper Tiger

The Winograd Commission report proves the Jewish state is a “paper tiger” that can be destroyed, Palestinian terrorist leaders told WND in a series of interviews.

“The report shows how Israel was defeated in war and proves the Zionist army is a paper tiger and that any other Arab and Muslim organization that has a real will like Hizbullah can defeat the Zionist army,” said Muhammad Abdel Al, spokesman and senior leader of the Popular Resistance Committees terrorist organization.

Muhammad Saadi, a leader of Islamic Jihad in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, said the war probe “proves that without the help of the Americans, Israel will very soon disappear. Only the American support keeps Israel in the region. The Zionist army we thought was invincible has been defeated.”

Weapons Into Gaza

Large quantities of advanced weaponry were transferred into the Gaza Strip after the territory’s border wall with Egypt was breached by Palestinians two weeks ago, Yuval Diskin, chief of Israel’s Shin Bet Security Services, announced.

Diskin told the Knesset that the Palestinians transported into Gaza long-range rockets, anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, arms, ammunition, explosives and materials used for rocket production.

Diskin also warned that Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists who crossed into the Egyptian Sinai desert during the past two weeks relocated themselves to form terror cells in strategic areas bordering Egypt. Israel has a long border with the Egyptian Sinai desert, much of which is currently unprotected.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the recently published book “Schmoozing with Terrorists.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/quick-takes-news-from-israel-you-may-have-missed-115/2008/02/06/

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