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With Gaza depending on Egypt as it did before the Six-Day War of 1967 for electricity and supplies, and the Palestinian Authority counting on the European Union to pay salaries to 84,500 Palestinian public service providers and pensioners, a functioning Palestinian State is not a reality presently or in the near future.
General Aaron Yariv, former chief of Israeli military intelligence, coined the term “territories for peace,” yet found himself more and more isolated, when he failed to discern any Palestinian Arab entity that was ready to trade a real peace in exchange for Israeli territorial withdrawal.
Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have gone nowhere. At the end of January 2012, Israeli negotiators met in Jordan with Palestinian Authority officials and discussed border arrangements. According to a report by Ben Kaspit in the Israeli daily Maariv, attorney Yitzhak Molcho, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s personal emissary, declared at the meeting that “Israel does not demand sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and will be content with strict security arrangements.” In response, PA negotiator Saeb Erekat called the Israeli idea unacceptable, and said that it “exposes Israel’s intention to make the occupation endless.”
The British daily newspaper, The Telegraph, reported on August 2, 2011 that Prime Minister “Netanyahu could countenance, with certain exceptions, an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 ceasefire lines.” Netanyahu however decried the fact that the Palestinian leadership has not prepared its people for peace with Israel.
Saeb Erekat’s familiar response was: “When I hear this from Netanyahu’s lips, that he will accept an Israeli state along 1967 borders, I will believe it, but what I have read so far is a masterpiece of PR and linguistics. The Israelis do this very well.”
In the meantime, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority Chairman has gone to the UN to ask for statehood as a way to avoid negotiations with the Netanyahu government. Reacting to Netanyahu’s enlarged coalition government (that now includes Kadima), Abbas called on it “to expedite a peace accord.” Yet Abbas continues to demand that Israel accept the indefensible pre-1967 border lines as the future border for a Palestinian state and release all Arab security prisoners from Israeli jails, as well as halt construction in Judea and Samaria for the second time.
Negotiations with the Palestinians have been ongoing in one form or another since before the Oslo Accords of 1993. Israel has gradually released its control, withdrawing troops from Palestinian cities and towns, and withdrawing, as it did, from all of Gaza and forcibly evacuated 9000 Jewish residents from the area. The Palestinians, for their part have continued their policy of combining diplomacy and armed struggle (Fatah doing diplomacy while Hamas is true to the armed struggle). Anti-Israel incitement continues to permeate Palestinian society directed by Hamas, Abbas and related groups, reaching worshippers in the mosques, youngsters in school, as well as the consumers of the Arabic media.
Twenty years of negotiations with the P.L.O. following the Oslo Accords have changed nothing since 1967, when the Arab leaders met at a summit in Khartoum and declared “No to peace with Israel, no to recognition of Israel, and no to negotiations with Israel.” And while the Palestinians may “negotiate,” they still object to the recognition of Israel as a Jewish State, and making real peace with the country and its people. Under such circumstances Israel might want to revisit the Allon Plan formula which was predicated on achieving Israel’s security: maximum strategic territory with minimum of Arab-Palestinians. Annexing Area C and parts of Area B to Israel would be the realization of this plan.
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