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January 28, 2015 / 8 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘UN’

Kerry Tries to Head Off Abbas at the Pass

Monday, December 15th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will hold meetings in Rome with Palestinian Authority official Saeb Erekat today or tomorrow even while Erekat insists it will request by Monday “at the latest” to recognize it is a country based and officially reject Israel’s borders.

Kerry also will talk with Russian and other foreign officials Sunday. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is flying to Rome today and will speak with Kerry Monday in a meeting that is scheduled for “several hours.”

The American view, as usual, is that its brokering the failed peace process is what will bring peace on earth and good will to men.

“We’re trying to figure out a way to help defuse the tensions and reduce the potential for more conflict, and we’re exploring various possibilities to that end,” Kerry said Friday.

Several Israeli Cabinet ministers have said what others are too diplomatic or too scared to say – that Kerry could reduce tensions if he simply would bud out.

Netanyahu has angered the Obama administration by not agreeing to another building freeze for Jews in Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem, all claimed by the Palestinian Authority, knowing that doing so would be one step before a de facto recognition that Jews must not live there.

The Palestinian Authority has angered the Obama administration because it thinks Washington let it down by not bending Israel’s will.

Kerry is galloping to Rome to try to head off the official PA request to the United Nations to dictate what the “Peace Profess” was not able to dictate – submission of Israel to the will of the world for which the Oslo Accord’s stipulation for a negotiated agreement with Israel was only a tactic to make Arab demands an ultimatum.

This is not analysis. This is the Palestinian Authority’s officially stated policy that “negotiations” never were intended.

Its official WAFA news agency reported Sunday:

The Palestinian leadership is convinced that the negotiations path in its current form is not effective and makes the statehood an indefinite issue, therefore, the ministry has considered activating all possible operational tools to create an interactive new state out of the ordinary framework to achieve the same goal, which is recognizing Palestine as an independent state.

Its chief “negotiator” Erekat said on Sunday it will submit a resolution to the United Nations “in the coming few hours, or maybe on Monday” to recognize the Palestinian Authority based on the Temporary Armistice Lines drawn up in 1949 and which were erased in the Arab world’s attempt to annihilate Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967.

“We want a clear and specific resolution for a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, resolving all the final status issues, releasing all detainees and refugees and labeling settlement activity illegal and should be stopped immediately, including in Jerusalem,” Erekat said.

President Barack Obama is hiding his “veto” card in the United Nations Security Council. Israel can no longer count on him to use it and block the resolution.

The final text that Erekat will submit, if he does, is not yet known because there are several versions flying around.

Kerry will meet separately with Abbas and Netanyahu to try to come up with a resolution that Israel can stomach.

The United States already has threatened to use the veto to foil a Jordanian draft that sets the borders in stone and gives Israel until November 2016 to honor them by expelling more than half a million Jews, abandoning property worth hundreds of billions of dollars and giving the Palestinian Authority army the key  to “protect” Israel.

Kerry Summons Netanyahu to Rome for Urgent Meeting before PA Bid to UN

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has summoned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to an urgent meeting next Monday ahead of a United Nations Security Council vote in two weeks on a Palestinian Authority timetable to demand Israel’s withdrawal to the old Temporary Armistice Lines by 2016.

Haaretz, which often is privy to reports from ”anonymous” senior officials when it comes to cooperation with the Obama, reported that the Kerry-Netanyahu talks will last for several hours.

The Office of the Prime Minister told The Jewish Press it could not confirm or deny the report.

President Barack Obama does not want to be put in a position to have to decide whether or not to veto an anti-Israel decision by the Security Council.PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has served notice that he no longer is interested in the American-backed “peace process” and that he will achieve his demands via the United Nations, where the General Assembly is overloaded with pro-Arab countries.

As an alternative proposal to the 2016 deadline, France has suggested a two-year deadline for permanent agreement based on the “Green Line” borders that were erased by the Sic-Day War in 1967.

The French proposal is based on Israel accepting the old borders with the exception of land swaps, and that Jerusalem be divided between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Haaretz reported that it is not clear if Kerry will propose his own proposal.

Obama and Kerry’s insistence on forcing an agreement down the throats of both sides, instead of living up to their former word that it cannot bargain for both parties, has left them high and dry.

Israel has refused to buckle under pressure for another building freeze on homes for Jews.

Abbas has snubbed Washington by declaring the “peace process” dead and by essentially telling the United States he can get what he wants in the United Nations, with or without Obama.

The timing of the U.N. vote is incredible because of the sudden election campaign in Israel.

Assuming the Security Council approves the Palestinian Authority proposal, an American veto would spoil the case by anti-Netanyahu parties that the Prime Minister has destroyed good relations with the United States.

The lack of a veto would instantly be seen as an attempt to undermine Netanyahu and interfere in the elections.

If the Obama administration would have taken the opportunity to chuck the whole mess it has fostered, it would be off the hook.

Instead, Obama might find himself hanging on it.

Palestinian Authority Granted Observer Status at Int’l Court

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

The Palestinian Authority won a major victory Monday when it was granted official observer status by the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

The long-sought status upgrade was announced at a session of the 122-member tribunal at the United Nations in New York City.

Although symbolic, the move is seen as “another victory for the Palestinians internationally,” said PLO representative to the UN, Riyad Mansour, and a step taking the PA closer to “Palestinian membership in the ICC.”

The Court has been unable to investigate war crimes committed by or within the Palestinian Authority or Gaza inasmuch as neither is a member of the Court, as required by the Rome Statute, which grants jurisdiction on behalf of, and over members of the ICC.

For the same reason, the ICC has not been able to investigate any allegations of crimes supposedly committed by the IDF during any of its counter terror operations in Gaza, since Israel also has no membership in the ICC.

PA and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, known to his Arab constituents by his terrorist name of “Abu Mazen,” has repeatedly threatened to join the ICC in the event the UN Security Council does not comply with his demand to set a firm timetable for Israel to disengage from Judea, Samaria and all parts of Jerusalem restored to its capital in the 1967 Six Day War, and withdraw to the 1949 Armistice Lines.

Syria Asks UN for Sanctions Against Israel

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Syria has appealed to the United Nations in outrage over alleged attacks by the Israel Defense Forces against targets near Damascus on Sunday afternoon.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it “requires sanctions to deter Israel,” according to a report broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 television news.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied reports of the attacks.

Syria alleged the Israeli Air Force bombed targets in and around the Dimas air base and the Damascus international airport, including a warehouse in which advanced Russian-made S-300 missiles were being prepared for transport to bases in Lebanon belonging to the Hezbollah terrorist organization.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met early Sunday in Beirut with Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah at the end of a two-day visit to Lebanon before heading to Turkey. The two men “discussed political developments in the region,” according to the Lebanon Daily Star newspaper, “with particular focus on Lebanon and Syria.”

Hezbollah has provided strong military support for government troops defending Russia’s ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since the start of the three-year Syrian civil war.

Abbas – “The Palestinian Authority Does Not Exist in Gaza”

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Palestinian Authority unity government chairman Mahmoud Abbas is refusing to negotiate over land with Israel — a violation of the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords intended to help it reach final status boundaries for the entity and its residents.

Abbas was quoted in a report by Arab affairs journalist Khaled Abu Toameh as saying he “won’t give up one inch of 1967.”

The Palestinian Authority leader claimed that he had evidence “Hamas and Israel are conducting negotiations.”

Even though Hamas joined together with the Fatah faction led by Abbas this past spring, and the two created a PA unity government, Abbas spoke as if the factions were separate.

“The Palestinian Authority does not exist in Gaza,” Abbas said. “Hamas is responsible for Gaza.”

While Abbas is still refusing to make any compromises, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi warned him Saturday at a meeting of the Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo peace will never be achieved in that way.

“International guarantees must be provided in order to encourage Israel to move towards peace,” El-Sisi warned Abbas during the meeting in Cairo.

Meanwhile the Arab League decided at its meeting in any case to back the PA’s attempt to force the United Nations to set a deadline for its recognition as a sovereign nation based on the 1949 Armistice Lines.

“We call on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to provide international protection Palestinian people on Palestinian land occupied in 1967,” said the Arab League in a statement quoted by CCTV-America on Saturday.

“We will go to the Security Council to request a recognition of a Palestinian State based on the June 1967 borders and place a deadline for this step,” said Abbas. “We will sign full membership in all international organizations including the International Criminal Court.”

Egypt has for the past several months been working on an initiative to secure the borders between Israel and any PA state when and if it ever comes into being.

Jordan To Propose Date for “Palestinian” State

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Jordan is planning to present a timeline to the UN Security Council for the creation of a “Palestinian” state, according to Arab League General Secretary Nabil Al-Arabi, following an Arab League meeting held in Cairo.

Israel of course has quite a few options it can respond with.

Jordan is currently negotiating with Israel to double the water supply it receives from the Kinneret, Israel could put an end to those discussions.

But sometimes turnabout is fair play.

Israel could agree with the timeline, and say they are prepared to recognize that Jordan is Palestine on that date.

Severe Rains In Gaza May Mean Terror Tunnels Are Flooded

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Published on Jewish Business News

The UN Palestine refugee agency UNRWA on Thursday evening declared a state of emergency in Gaza City amid massive rains that have shut down normal life in the city, Ma’an reported. This could also mean damage to the hundreds of underground tunnels that are still being dug fastidiously by Hamas, in preparation for the next war.

Thursday marks the fourth straight day of unusually heavy rain across the region, causing temperatures to dip across the coastal region.

In early November, the Egyptian army launched a program to destroy newly discovered hundreds of tunnels leading from Gaza into the Sinai, which had been used by Gaza jihadists to attack Egyptian security forces. In only a matter of days, the Egyptians cleared 10,000 residents from about 800 homes along the strip’s southern border, to erect an 8-mile buffer where anyone entering would be shot without a warning.

Unlike Israel, the Egyptians can be decisive on fighting terrorism, and they don’t catch international flak for it, either.

Since Israel evacuated its military and civilians from Gaza, in 2005, the PLO and then the Hamas governments have not invested a penny in upgrading the sewer systems and the roads, and so each rainy season sees the strip sitting under lakes of water and human waste. The major storm that brought a blessing to Israel this past week has filled the streets of Gaza City once again with water and sewage, causing further misery for the more than 100,000 Palestinians left homeless, including an estimated 30,000 in emergency shelters.

UNRWA announced that 63 schools across Gaza City and 43 schools across the northern Gaza Strip had been closed Thursday due to the flooding.

Hundreds of residents in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City had also been evacuated due to the rise of a “storm water lagoon” that had flooded many homes in the area.

“The flooding is exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza caused by blockade and the unprecedented destruction from the latest Israeli offensive,” the UN agency said in a post on its Facebook page.

Back in 2013, Egyptian forces flooded the tunnels under the border with the Gaza Strip in a campaign to shut them down. A Reuters reporter saw one tunnel suddenly fill with water, sending workers rushing for safety. Locals said two other tunnels were also flooded, as the Egyptians were deliberately pumping in water.

“The Egyptians have opened the water to drown the tunnels,” Abu Ghassan, who supervised the work of 30 men at one tunnel, 200 yards from the border, told Reuters. And an Egyptian security official in the Sinai told Reuters: “We are using water to close the tunnels by raising water from one of the wells.”

But when it rains heavily, as it did this week, Gaza is prone to severe flooding, leading to the displacement of thousands. The floods are exacerbated by a chronic lack of fuel that limits how much water can be pumped out of flood-stricken areas.

Which means that the effect the Egyptians achieved by diverting well water into the tunnels is now achieved by natural forces.

The tunnels into Israel were constructed using the expertise of the Rafah families who have specialized in digging tunnels into Egypt for commerce and smuggling, and have been described by former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya as representative of “a new strategy in confronting the occupation and in the conflict with the enemy from underground and from above the ground.”

The Israeli military has estimated that Hamas spent as much as $90 million, pouring 600,000 tons of concrete, in building three dozen tunnels. Some of these tunnels were estimated to have cost $3 million to construct.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/eye-on-palestine/gaza/severe-rains-in-gaza-may-mean-terror-tunnels-are-flooded/2014/11/28/

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