Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is in charge of the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, met Thursday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss reviving the Middle East peace process, AFP reported. Flying in under the radar from Israel, Livni met with Kerry for about 30 minutes, with U.S. officials declining to divulge any concrete details.
"This opportunity was part of the secretary's ongoing discussions with Israeli and Palestinian officials and Arab and European officials, who have much at stake, as well to explore possible ways forward to resolve this conflict," acting deputy State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said, according to AFP. "They discussed the full range of political and security issues facing Israel," he added.
Arab League leaders appeared to make a surprise concession Monday in saying a Palestinian state should be based on the pre-1967 borders but with mutually-agreed land swaps with Israel.
...the Palestinian envoy to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said that Israel was only "paying lip service" to peace talks. "While serious regional and international efforts are under way to revive the path of peace and to salvage the two-state solution, Israel instead continues to choose colonization and confrontation," Mansour said.
Mansour slammed Israeli tactics in a letter to Ban and the UN Security Council which highlighted how "hundreds of Palestinians have been forcibly displaced" in the past week and others face eviction.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh stressed on Hamas movement’s rejection to the Arab initiative for peace with the Israeli occupation, and to the idea of land swap.
...“Our borders are the historic land of Palestine. The land belongs to us, and we refuse the Arab initiative,” Haniyeh said. He stressed that the new Arab position that supports the exchange of land represents an unacceptable waiver and encourages the occupation to continue the settlement activity.
Gaza Premier called on the Palestinian people to adhere to the option of resistance as it represents the strategic choice. “What was taken by force can only be restored by force. Negotiations can never be the way towards the liberalization,” he said.
The Arab Peace Initiative seeking a swap of land between Palestine and Israel is “an attempt to alter history”, a senior Hamas leader said Friday. Mahmoud Zahhar said that no one can take the rights of Palestinians to return to their lands.
He added that Palestinians have four immutable rights: the right to their land, their beliefs, their holy places and their right to return. Zahhar called on Palestinians to cling to these rights and not give up any small piece of “Palestine’s soil”.
Political analyst Dr. Naji Batta said that Hamas movement had unequivocally rejected the Arab initiative, and said that "it does not meet the minimum rights of the Palestinian people." Batta told PIC on Saturday that the Arab initiative and the idea of land swaps crossed red lines and pointed to more concessions. "The Arab initiative is originally rejected, because Palestine is not for sale or rent," the political analyst said, stressing that no one has the right to give up any part of the land of Palestine.
What "peace initiative"?