Kerry plan not enough, says UAE daily

WAM ABU DHABI, 22nd February, 2014 (WAM)–Israel has been deliberately sabotaging US Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace efforts and using the on-going negotiations as a cover to continue with its illegal settlement activities, particularly in and around occupied Jerusalem.

Hence, “it is not a surprise that Palestinians feel the ideas proposed by Kerry to President Mahmoud Abbas cannot serve as the basis for a framework accord with Israel. The proposals just do not take into account the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people,” observes UAE local English language daily, The Gulf Today, in its editorial today.

The US State Department has described the meetings as “constructive,” and insists that Kerry and Abbas will stay in touch in the coming weeks. Kerry, who pushed the Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table after a three-year gap, has no immediate plans to travel back to Israel or the West Bank after making 11 trips during his first year in office.

It adds that Palestinians have suffered undue hardships in several ways, including the destruction of property and forced evictions. According to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, displacement rose 25 per cent in 2013, with over 1,100 uprooted in the West Bank – both in Area C and East Jerusalem – following the demolition of structures. Since the beginning of 2014, over 100 Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished in these areas, forcibly displacing more than 180 Palestinians, including nearly 100 children.

Recently, almost 140 Irish academics signed up to pledge in support of an academic boycott of Israel until it complies fully with its obligations under international law. The pledge, organised by the group Academics for Palestine, and signed by 138 academics based in Ireland stated: “In response to the call from Palestinian civil society for an academic boycott of Israel, we pledge not to engage in any professional association with Israeli academic, research and state institutions and with those representing these institutions, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.” But Israel refuses to heed sane advices.

“If at all an amicable solution can be reached, it has to be on the basis of United Nations resolutions and the positions of the Palestinian leadership and the Arab League. The peace agreement should include the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, a just solution to the Palestinian refugee question and the immediate cessation of settlement activities, ” the paper says.

It concludes that Washington should have no inhibitions in telling Israel that any attempt at arm-twisting or deliberate scuttling of the peace process will not work.

WAM/Majok

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