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conceptual mapping >  building peace  > Israel launches a new peace initiative

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Israel launches a new peace initiative

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Muhamad Dahlan’s failed military takeover in June put an end to seven years of Israeli unilateralism in the region. This resulted in the creation of two Palestinian governments, one headed by Hamas and one by Fatah, both claiming legitimacy, and an agreement from the Fatah militias in the West Bank to disarm. With this as the present context, the peace process was back on the local and international agendas.

At the moment, there are two propositions on the peace negotiations table. The Arab League calls for Israel to receive full recognition from all Arab states in exchange for a withdrawal to the pre-1967 boundaries and an agreed solution to the refugee problem. Israel offers a phased negotiation towards a Palestinian State on ninety percent of the West Bank, with the right to annex the major settlement blocks.

The Palestinian Authority, headed by President Mahmud Abbas has no proposition so far.

In order to promote the Arab Initiative, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abdul Gheit and Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdelelah al-Khatib, members of the Arab League Initiative Supervisory Committee, arrived on Wednesday, 25 July on an official visit to Israel.

“We hope that upon our return, we would also convey to the Arab League the responses of Israel and I hope that the responses will be positive,” Aboul Gheit said at a news conference on 25 June.

During a meeting with the Arab League representatives on 26 June, Prime Minister Olmert said that Israel and the PA “have begun a process of dialogue that will naturally also lead to negotiations with the PA on the main issues that will enable the establishment of a Palestinian state.”

He was referring to a newly proposed, phased peace plan, similar in content to the Oslo peace process. According to a report published on Haaretz newspaper on 25 July, Olmert is offering President Abbas to hold negotiations toward an “Agreement of Principles” for the establishment of a Palestinian state on most of the territory of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Read more

date of on-line publication : 30 July 2007

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