Thursday, April 3, 2014

Analyst: Netanyahu Made “Significant” Concessions, U.S. Focus on Abbas

Analyst: Netanyahu Made “Significant” Concessions, U.S. Focus on Abbas

By Staff 

As confusion surrounds the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, one of Israel’s leading analysts told reporters that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made “significant gestures and compromises” to persuade the Palestinians to continue the negotiations. Udi Segal, best known as Israel Channel 2′s chief diplomatic correspondent, told a conference call for reporters and policymakers convened by The Israel Project last night that Netanyahu has consistently agreed to work within the frameworks stipulated by Washington.

Segal said that his sources indicate that Washington, too, believes the latest crisis in the talks was brought about by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ lack of flexibility. “Right now, the blame, at least from the State Department officials and John Kerry, is focused on Abu Mazen [Abbas’ nom de guerre] and the Palestinian side.”

In exchange for an extension of peace talks until January 2015, Netanyahu offered to release hundreds [1] of Palestinian prisoners and implement a settlement freeze [2] in the West Bank, with some suggestions that Israel would launch fewer incursions into Palestinian cities searching for terrorists.

Abbas’ first move after rejecting the Israeli offers was to apply for membership of 15 international organizations [3]. This was widely welcomed in the Palestinian Authority.

“The Palestinian leadership has unanimously approved a decision to seek membership of 15 U.N. agencies and international treaties, beginning with the Fourth Geneva Convention,” Abbas said after signing the demand.

Israel has always agreed with the insistence of the United Nations, Europe and the U.S. that the only way to resolve the conflict is via direct parley [4] between the parties.

[1] hundreds:
[2] settlement freeze:
[3] membership of 15 international organizations:
[4] direct parley: