Saturday, June 25

The Difficulties of Negotiations

Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas have had their summit talks on Tuesday 21st June 2005. It seems as if Ariel Sharon had adopted a rather paternalistic approach towards the Palestinian leader according to a Haaretz Report.

"We heard a long lecture from Sharon on fighting terrorism and comments preaching morality, but nothing was achieved," one of the officials was quoted as saying.

When there is the backdrop of extremism on both sides, this is bound to add an element of strain on any form of negotiations between the two sides.

Islamic Jihad gunmen near the northern West Bank city of Tul Karm opened fire on a car carrying two Israeli civilians in an ambush early Monday, killing the driver, identified as Yevgeny Reider, 28, from Hermesh, and lightly wounding his 15-year-old passenger. The day before, gunmen in the southern Gaza Strip killed an Israel Defense Forces soldier.

Later on Monday 20th June 2005, IDF soldiers arrested a female would-be suicide bomber at the entrance to the Erez crossing on the border with the northern Gaza Strip.

Apparently, the female suicide bomber wanted to make her way to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba to carry out a suicide attack. If these incidents occur, the Israel Army has a perfect excuse for stepping up security even towards the Palestinians who are in need of medical care. There are extremists who are prepared to take advantage and hide behind sick Palestinians in order to carry out terror against Israel. This is an untenable situation.

If Israel helps Mahmoud Abbas in his fight against Hamas and Islamic Jihad; they in fact weaken his position. It would not be productive if the Palestinians viewed Mahmoud Abbas as someone cooperating with Israel to neutralize Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror.

Israel has a large problem with her right wing extremists who are against the disengagement at all costs. What has happened is the extremists on both sides are going to create a situation that will make the disengagement very difficult to accomplish without violence.

It is obvious that there are many on both sides that wish to destroy every peace effort.

The situation between the Palestinians and Israelis is deteriorating. The expectations that many had of the Sharon-Abbas meeting was high. At the end of the day, both sides hold positions, which are not conducive to pace making.

If the Palestinian terror groups are going to make cynical use of the terrorist to infiltrate a hospital in order to carry out a suicide bombing, they have to bear the consequences for having crossed a red line.

This will result in increased suffering for Palestinians in need of urgent medical attention in Israel. How can they expect not to be subjected to increased security checks because of attempts to send suicide bombers?

The Palestinians accuse Israel of delays in allowing seriously ill Palestinians from crossing the roadblocks to Israel to get medical attention. Hardly a word of condemnation for those who attempt suicide attacks on a hospital. There is a pointed lack of balance in this accusation.

All these incidents have occurred during the Sharon-Abbas summit meeting. There is no doubt that the ball is in the Palestinian court to stop the terror attacks on Israelis. Mahmoud Abbas does not seem capable of disarming the unlawful terrorist militias in Gaza.

Israel has to be tougher with the militant anti-disengagement right wing groups. These right-wingers are creating a severe problem by breaking the law and demonstrating with blocking roads and setting tires alight.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and elements of Fatah seem to have much in common – more than meets the eye – with the right-wing anti-disengagement demonstrators. Both wish to upset the disengagement plans, both are fanatic in their own way and both groups wish to create a fiasco of the disengagement each for their own warped reasons.

The activities of right wing anti-disengagement Israeli demonstrators and the Palestinian terrorists could result in the disengagement plans being postponed indefinitely.

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