OK, so Israel is supposed to be giving up all the land between Hevron and Gaza.
I am not surprised that Israel is committing national suicide via Livni and Olmert, I am surprised that the arabs are telling us about it as it occurs.
So what is their intent? Why are they leaking this information?
The truth probably is that they don't want it to happen just as much as Israel doesn't want it to happen. They aren't stupid. They don't want to govern their own country and pick up the garbage and build schools and make roads. It is much more profitable to just sit back and hate Israel and make trouble and live on the drama of it all. After all, they are overwhelmed with international support, money, and political power. Once they have their own country, all of that will dry up.
May 25, 2008 19:48 | Updated May 26, 2008 1:07
'J'lem offers 91% of W. Bank in new map'
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Palestinian officials close to peace talks said Sunday that Israel has offered a West Bank withdrawal map that leaves about 8.5 percent of the territory in Israeli hands, less than a previous plan but still more than the Palestinians are ready to accept.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and other PA officials, however, told The Jerusalem Post that the report is unsubstantiated.
Also Sunday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was quoted as telling backers that the negotiations have achieved no progress since they were restarted last November with a pledge to US President George W. Bush to try for a full peace treaty by the end of the year.
The Palestinian officials said that Israel presented its new map three days ago in a negotiating session. The last map Israel offered had 12 percent of the West Bank remaining in Israel. Israel wants to keep West Bank land with its main settlement blocs, offering land inside Israel in exchange. The land would be between Hebron in the southern West Bank and Gaza - at least part of a route through Israel to link the two territories.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are being conducted behind closed doors, said Palestinians were ready to trade only 1.8% of the West Bank for Israeli land.
Israeli officials refused to comment.
One of the Palestinian officials said the 8.5% figure of West Bank land Israel would retain with its new map does not include east Jerusalem, where Israel has built a string of Jewish neighborhoods it intends to keep. Israel wants to put off dealing with Jerusalem until the end of the process.
Abbas indicated skepticism about the prospects of the renewed talks.
"Nothing has been achieved in the negotiations with Israel yet," Abbas told a meeting of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, according to a report Sunday in the Fatah-associated al-Ayyam daily and confirmed by meeting participants.
Domestic issues in both Israel and the US are diverting attention from peacemaking, Abbas told Fatah leaders.
"I fear the (corruption) probe against Olmert and the American preoccupation with the (presidential) elections will negatively affect the negotiations," Abbas said, according to a member of the council, Salah Taameri.
Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report