by Ellechim Adaven
Finally, after years of negotiation, and with only a few months left in Bush’s presidency, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, has announced a historic agreement has been reached between Palestinian Authority leader, Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
According to reports, the historic peace deal will be signed before the United States elections in November.
A general overview of the deal was released at a joint press conference in Jerusalem with Rice, Olmert, and Abbas, but some details still need to be worked out, Rice stated. “Of course, the implementation of the deal will take some negotiation, but we do have an agreement.”
According to Rice, Olmert has agreed to cede some areas of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, Ben Yehuda Street, and the Knesset Building. Israel will still maintain control of one small falafel stand near the Arab Shuk. “It was a condition of Shas remaining in the government,” he admitted. “They control the kashrut of that particular stand, and I didn’t want to undermine their religious authority.” The stand is said to be the favorite of Shas Religious leader Ovadia Yosef.
Olmert has also agreed to immediately move Israelis from all areas in southern Israel, in order to provide space for the Palestinian Authority to set up a national government. “Now Hamas can shell Fatah directly,” Olmert added.
All of northern Israel will be evacuated over a two-year period, said Olmert.
Palestinian President Abbas has, in turn, agreed to provide free swimming lessons for all Israelis and negotiate with some foreign governments to pick up all Israelis who are able to reach the three-mile limit. This is where international waters begin.
“Some would say that I shouldn’t be negotiating these terms so broadly,” said Olmert, but we must understand it is for the sake of peace, and our international partners have insisted that we finish this process completely. I could have demanded more,” Olmert contined, “but what would be the point? This is what the US and the EU want, so I have agreed.”
International activist group “Peace Now,” released a statement lauding the agreement, “Peace in our time is a goal we have always supported.”
Chai Mordechi was very critical of the agreement, “I kept telling Livni that this was the reason she was in the cabinet, to prevent this sort of thing, but she refused to listen to me.”
A Hamas spokesman, Haman Amlek, was also critical, “This is not enough! I will urge the Palestinian People to deny the Zionist enemies their swimming lessons! We will fight this! Abbas is giving in to the Israeli devils!”
Members of the Knesset were unavailable for comment, as they had all left for the official activities marking the Jewish Holiday of Purim.