Israel says peace talks doomed to fail

2010-05-05 11:04

Israel claimed today that indirect negotiations with the

Palestinians were doomed to fail.

It made the claim despite a scheduled meeting

for so-called proximity talks between a US envoy and the Israeli premier.


“This won’t work .?.?. Indirect talks, proximity talks will not

yield results,” intelligence minister and deputy prime minister Dan Meridor told

the Jerusalem Post.

“Everyone will want to pull America to their own side, and

they won’t get closer, they will get further apart,” he told the daily.

“I think

we need to go quickly to direct talks.”


His comments were published just hours before Prime Minister

Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled to meet with US Middle East envoy George

Mitchell.


There was widespread speculation that the proximity talks could

begin within days of Mitchell’s planned meeting with Palestinian president

Mahmoud Abbas on Friday.


The Palestinians had agreed (reluctantly) to the talks in March,

but reneged when a major settlement expansion plan in Arab east Jerusalem was

announced.


The announcement also infuriated the US administration as it

coincided with a visit by vice-president Joe Biden.


Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the status of Jerusalem

are among the thorniest issues for Middle East peace efforts.


Negotiations that started in 2007 made little tangible progress and

collapsed in December 2008 when Israel launched a devastating 22-day offensive

in the Gaza Strip.

 

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