Thursday, January 17, 2008

Taking down the PLO

Within weeks of Annapolis, Israel is intensifying its colonial settlement strategy, exploding any prospects of peace talks and driving Abbas and Fayyad into a corner

By Nicola Nasser
Al-Ahram Weekly

"Linking the aliyah (Jewish immigration) to what Jewish literature describes as Eretz Israel (Greater Israel) -- Israeli colonial settlement of Palestinian land, which the Hebrew state occupied in 1967, while at the same time negating the Palestinian right of return -- is torpedoing whatever prospect is left for a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, undermining the latest US-sponsored Palestinian-Israeli talks in Annapolis and further splintering the only viable Palestinian partner Israel has in any viable peace process, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)......

Simultaneously, Israel has embarked on a two- pronged "real war" on two fronts: a military war on Hamas and the Gaza Strip, and a colonial war on the PLO-led West Bank, officially rejecting a proposal from Hamas to trade a truce ceasefire for lifting the siege Israel has imposed on the Strip. "There is no other way to describe what is happening in the Gaza Strip except as a true war... This war will continue," a statement of the Israeli government said Sunday. Since June this "real war" claimed more than 200 Palestinian lives in Gaza, Olmert boasted last week, excluding 22 more killed by the Israeli Occupation Forces during the Islamic Eid Al-Adha, according to the Palestinian Al-Mizan centre for human rights.

At the same time Israel unofficially refuses to make peace with the PLO. Israel's colonial war in the West Bank is much more detrimental to the Annapolis process and prospects of creating a Palestinian state because it focuses on strategically destroying the territorial contiguity of this prospective state and severing it from its capital, Jerusalem. Israel announced an aggressive three-pronged drive to expand its colonial settlements in and around East Jerusalem, including creating the brand new colony of Atarot, with 35,000 Jewish only houses, on the Palestinian land of Qalandia......."

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