UK: Israel must do more for peace

2011-10-18 20:52

Nouakchott - Britain called on Israel to build on the momentum provided by the release of its soldier Gilad Shalit to advance peace talks with the Palestinians.

Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomed the release of Shalit after more than five years in captivity in the Gaza Strip as part of a thousand-for-one prisoner exchange.

"It provides a glimmer of hope in an often bleak scene that a successful negotiation can be carried out on this difficult subject," Hague told Reuters during a trip to North Africa.

"I know it is important for Israelis and Palestinians to return to negotiation on the Middle East peace process and to approach it in the same way.

"In particular, we believe Israel should be ready to make a more decisive offer than Israeli leaders have made in recent years on the peace process to give talks a chance of success."

Hague said that tight controls of crossings into Hamas-controlled Gaza had backfired.

"I also hope it will encourage Israel to relax the controls on the crossing points into Gaza. The extent of the controls has generally served to strengthen Hamas rather than to weaken them."

Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair also saw a chance to kickstart the peace process.

"I hope it also offers us a moment of opportunity, and not simply in respect of Gaza where Hamas are presently in charge, but also for a...revival of credibility in a peace process we really need to prioritise," he told the BBC.

  • fanie.oosthuizen - 2011-10-18 22:27

    Coming from a government who in the past did very bad things to humanity for the sake of their own wealth?

  • Mthuthuzeli - 2011-10-19 06:29

    The Israel-Palestine debacle persist for the same reason it began -- the refusal of Israel to abide by international law and its own agreements, and the empowering of its lawlessness by the West. Israel has to stop its expansionist attitude and agree to live within the 1967 borders. This has been set out in UN resolution after UN resolution and has been accepted by the Arab League as a basis of any future peace agreement. The Arabs have accepted that Israel isn't going anywhere, isn't it time that Israel accepted that neither are the Palestinians? The inability of trans-generation Israel governments to stop growing settlements is a prescription for eventual disaster. Sadly the first priority of the Zionists is the further acquisition, read theft, of land and not the achievement of peace.

  • MiriamBawden - 2011-10-19 10:50

    Exactly how much more do you people want from us?! We are forever giving and all we get in return is bombs and attacks. You try and make peace with terrorists that want you dead and then come back and talk to us.

      Mthuthuzeli - 2011-10-19 11:25

      What is it exactly that you have given? The facts on the ground are so far removed from your opinion/interpretation of what has and is happening that it can reasonably be said that there really is no relationship between what you're saying and what has, so far, happened re: Palestine & Israel. This exemplified by this little story which in my mind personifies the Israeli attitude regarding the whole peace process. When Saudi Arabia deployed it's fleet of F16s in Tabuk (northern Saudi Arabia) Israel was quick to complain to the US that this was against the preconditions set forth in the purchase agreement for said aircraft. Which specifically says that Saudi Arabia is not allowed to deploy US built/bought aircraft within 15 minutes flying time of Israeli air space. When US officials brought that up with the Saudi government, their reply was that when the agreement was signed Tabuk was not within 15 minutes of Israel and that it was the Israeli border that has changed since then, not the Saudi border. How many settlements has Israel built since 1973. Look at the Israeli map from the 70s and compare it to todays.

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