Uploaded Sept 10. This week’s update is 22 minutes.
You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:
In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:
1) The current status of the Israel / PLO peace process
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that before the resumption of direct peace talks with Israel, the United States demanded that the Palestinians avoid lobbying for recognition in various United Nations organizations including the International Criminal Court. Initially, the Palestinians refused. However, Abbas said that the Palestinians agreed to enter direct peace talks with Israel only because the United States promised that they would support the Palestinian demands that Israel withdraw to the pre-1967 borders as the basis for any final status agreement with Israel. Without it, he said, the PA would not have agreed to participate in the talks. Furthermore, Israel agreed to release 104 Palestinian prisoners in four stages. Abbas said he agreed to delay seeking full United Nations membership of a Palestinian state in return for the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. “I consider the issue of the UN to be very important, but the case of the prisoners is worthy of sacrifice,” he added. “We have prepared 63 requests to join 63 UN agencies and conventions, but I said the issue of the prisoners is now more significant.” The first 26 prisoners have already been released. The second group of Palestinian prisoners is expected to be released by the end of September. Palestinian Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Karaka said that the third round of Palestinian prisoners’ release will take place on October 29. According to Karaka, the next group of prisoners will be released regardless of diplomatic progress of the talks, adding that the prisoners will only be released to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The minister added that the fourth and final group of prisoners will be released on March 28.
According to Reyad al-Malki, the Palestinian minister of foreign affairs, the Palestinians agreed to resume direct peace talks with Israel because the United States submitted written guarantees to the Palestinian leadership backing the establishment of a Palestinian state while declaring Israeli settlements illegal. As a result, al-Malki said: “The American Administration, which presented the written guarantees to the Palestinian leadership, is fully responsible for Israel’s attempts to fail the direct peace negotiations and continue settlement construction which violates the two-state solution.” He explained that the Palestinians agreed to resume the talks not only due to the Israeli approval to release prisoners, “but because the United States had submitted to the Palestinian side written assurances that it considers settlement activities illegal and backs a Palestinian state.”
Regarding Palestinian goals for the peace talks, Mahmood Abbas reassured his fellow Fatah leaders that he would not make any concessions during the negotiations with Israel. “Our positions are the same as previous ones,” he explained. “This means Jerusalem is at the top of our list of priorities. A Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital. Without that there will be no solution. There will be no state without Jerusalem, which is a red line for us. If there is any development and an agreement, it is known that we will go to a referendum,” Abbas clarified. “It won’t be enough to have the approval of the Fatah Central Committee or the PLO Executive Council for an agreement. Rather, we would go to a referendum everywhere because the agreement represents Palestinians everywhere.” Nabil Sha’ath, member of the Fatah Central Committee said. Sha’ath said that despite the lack of progress the Palestinian Authority was determined to continue with the peace talks while not ruling out the possibility of going to international agencies and forums if the negotiations fail.
Regarding the current status of peace talks, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met recently for the 5th round of talks since they started in July. In the latest meeting, both sides presented their view on final status issues but no agreement between them has been reached. Mahmood Abbas said that all that has taken place so far has been a review by both sides of each other’s negotiating position. A Palestinian official said that formal talks between Israel and the Palestinians has not yet started. US Secretary of State John Kerry plans to will meet with Arab League representative and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in London next week to discuss the current status of the Israel / Palestinian peace talks. The Palestinians want a meeting with Kerry to express their disappointment in the progress of the peace talks so far. The Palestinians are unhappy over what they say are Israel’s repeated attempts to dictate the talks’ agenda which have been focused on Israel’s security. Abbas and his aides are also displeased with what they perceive as US mediator Martin Indyk’s lack of insufficient participation in the talks.
In presenting its view of a final status agreement, Israel has focused on issues of security. As a result, Israel wants to retain control of the West Bank, keep early-warning stations on hilltops, and retain military bases near the Jordanian border. The current proposals suggest that Israel would like to keep control of about 40% of the West Bank. Furthermore, Israel discussed the idea of a Palestinian state with provisional border. According to a Palestinian official, Israel said: ” ‘Let’s discuss a state with provisional borders.’ In return, the Palestinians said, ‘Let’s agree on a state based on the 1967 borders first, and then we can agree on having this state in phases.” The idea of a Palestinian state with temporary borders would give the PA independence, while leaving the issues such as the fate of Jerusalem and the “right of return” to later negotiations.
According to a Palestinian official, Israel has proposed a Palestinian state on temporary borders on about 60% of the West Bank. Under this plan, Israel would keep dozens of Jewish settlements and military bases in the West Bank. This plan has been rejected by the Palestinians. Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged the US to put pressure on Israel. Otherwise, he said, “there will be no progress.” A Palestinian official said, “Agreeing with Israeli ideas on the issue of security will give Israel control over all the routes and major centers in the West Bank. The Palestinians refused all Israeli proposals and demanded sovereignty throughout the West Bank. However, we did agree to the presence of NATO troops to patrol the border. In a Rosh HaShanah statement to the Jewish public, Netanyahu said that he hoped that peace talks with the Palestinians would succeed. “We seek to advance peace with the Palestinians while maintaining our security and ensuring that the peace will be real and genuine peace. This peace must be anchored in recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and in our security. This is what ultimately is needed.” Furthermore, Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that Israel is not willing to vacate the major Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank.
Expressing concern of the talk of a Palestinian state with provisional borders, several members of Netanyahu’s own political party, the Likud, are joining forces to oppose any peace agreement with the Palestinians. This would include Israel Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon. Danon said that he is “very disturbed” by the current diplomatic efforts. “I look at the diplomatic negotiations team and I ask myself, who represents the interests of the state of Israel in the negotiations? Who represents the national camp [those that oppose a Palestinian state] ? I respect Israel chief negotiator Tzipi Livni but she does not represent the national camp. She does not represent the settlers and their numerous supporters. I am very concerned by the fact that the team of US Representative Martin Indyk, Tzipi Livni and [PA negotiator Saeb] Erekat is leading us to the days of [Ehud] Olmert and the dividing of Jerusalem, to an agreement that speaks of a retreat from most of the territory in the West Bank. There is no doubt that if negotiations cause an agreement to be made then the Likud political party will be put to the test. They will have to decide whether they will remain loyal to the founding principles of the Likud party which opposes a Palestinian state or choose to be support a peace agreement headed by Benjamin Netanyahu and Tzipi Livni. However, it is my understanding that we are not yet discussing a comprehensive peace agreement with the Palestinians and I hope that we will never have to face this situation. Nevertheless, if a peace agreement is reached, we must tell fellow Likud members who may support such an agreement that ‘you do not belong in Likud.’”
Likud Knesset Member, Moshe Feiglin said that the time to stop the Netanyahu government from negotiating a peace agreement with the Palestinians is now. Netanyahu’s government cannot be called “nationalist,” so there is no reason for its existence. It endorses the policies of transferring Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount to the Jordanians and releasing terrorists. I am not calling on anyone to resign. On the contrary, it is imperative to use all the political power that we have to forge a new direction and to compel the “nationalist” government to carry out the policies that it was elected to do.
An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.
The link to these articles are as follows:
1) U.S. backs Palestinian state, considers Israeli settlement illegal: Palestinian official
2) Abbas: US Promised Us Full Withdrawal as Basis of Talks
3) Abbas reveals deal PA made to restart peace talks
4) Israelis and Palestinians meet for fresh round of talks
5) PA Official: Israel Proposed Evicting Communities
6) Ya’alon: Settlement evacuations is not part of new talks with Palestinians
7) Israel wants to hold 40% of West Bank in peace deal’
8.) Danon Warns Netanyahu over ‘Peace’ Deal
9) The Time to Stop Netanyahu Is Now
10) Peace talks with Israel going nowhere, says Abbas’ top aide
11) Kerry to discuss peace talks with Abbas in London next week
12) Abbas says peace with Israel will be brought to a referendum for Palestinians ‘everywhere’
13) PA minister: Next prisoners’ release in October
From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).
We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).
Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l