ABBAS BEEN LEFT TWISTING IN THE WIND AGAIN?
Who?s Really Responsible for the June 21 "Summit"
Failure in Jerusalem?
Date: June 23, 2005
By: Terry Walz
news coming from Jerusalem of a failed meeting between
Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian president Mahmoud
should have been predicted, but it is the Israelis, as usual, who are
the lack of progress in the "peace process" on the Palestinians when
they should be acknowledging their own failed promises.
resumption of targeted assassinations on June 8 led
to the killing of 6 Palestinians.
Islamic Jihad had predictably
promised more revenge killings, and the
relative "calm" that had prevailed in the spring is giving way to
more violence on both sides.
Now the Israelis
have announced they will resume their assassination policy, promising
restrict it to "potential attackers." This
resembles the "pinpoint" bombing that the U.S.
Department of Defense is fond of mentioning in its war in Iraq.
really responsible for the collapse of the ceasefire?
Sharm al-Sheikh, during a meeting between the two leaders
and the president of Egypt and the king of Jordan, both promised to
the Quartet sponsored Roadmap, which meant that Abbas would control the
while Sharon would release thousands of prisoners, withdraw troops from
Palestinian cities, eliminate roadblocks, and clamp down on the
Neither side lived up
to their side of the agreement, but in the talks yesterday, Sharon
Abbas for not ending the attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers.
has happened in the occupied territories since February
8, when Sharon and Abbas met?
to the Palestinian Red
which keeps careful records of deaths and injuries, the Israelis have
Palestinians and injured 350 between February 8 and June 20. According
to the Palestinian
Centre for Human Rights (PCHR),
which provides weekly reports on abuses of human rights in Gaza and the
Bank, including deaths, arrests, incursions, house demolitions, and
almost every week since February 8 has been filled with the harm done
Israel Occupational Forces or by settlers, particularly in the area of
where attacks on Palestinian farmers, houses, shops, and the razing of
agricultural lands have been almost a weekly occurrence.
Defense Force website, however,
reports that since the beginning of June,
Palestinian attacks have increased. It
states that there have been 16 Qassam rockets fired, 40 mortar shells,
anti-tank missiles, and altogether some 45 incidents against Israeli
during the month.
During the last few
days, an Israeli soldier and an Israeli civilian were killed by
attackers, 3 were wounded.
the week of 2 to 8 June, for example, the PCHR reported
that 2 Palestinians had been killed by the Israeli Occupied Forces (one
extrajudicial), and Israeli colonists had beaten Palestinians in Hebron
a village south of it, demolishing houses and shops. In
the previous week, 2 more were killed. Incursions
by the IOF into Palestinian
communities resulted in arrests; they were attacks by colonists,
the Hebron area; and construction of the wall was renewed.
the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported
last month that the Israeli government had made significant steps to
"humanitarian conditions" of the Palestinians since Sharm el-Sheikh,
in fact little has actually been done.
Israeli troops have vacated 2
cities (Tulkarm and Jericho), lifted a
couple of roadblocks and a handful of barriers (blocking roads to
villages), far less than was expected.
The Israeli organization
Machsom (Checkpoint) Watch issued a report in
early June that states that 4 of 61 checkpoints have been removed since
November 2004 and 70 and 680 barriers (Yedioth Ahronoth,
9 June 2005).
900 of 7,000 Palestinian prisoners were released, and
at spotty intervals.
But hundreds have
been arrested in recent weeks in steady incursions by the army into
members of the Quartet and the G-8 (the world's largest
industrialized economies) have urged
ease the restrictions on Palestinians, so that normal life and work
resume ? clearly evidence that the Israelis have not done
nearly enough to
improve "humanitarian conditions" of the Occupied Territories, despite
the meantime, the construction of the Separation Wall
continues apace (see the reports of the PCHR), the colonies in the West
have been expanding, land and houses have been seized from Palestinians
on the Israeli side of the Wall. This has been reported by the major
rarely have been killings reached the American public.
this month both President Mubarak and King Abdullah
of Jordan, warned the Israelis that not enough was being done. Their
warnings should be remembered. Arutz
right-wing Israeli news service, even noticed in its coverage of the
assassinations that the lack of criticism from the White House
the Sharm el-Sheikh agreement was falling apart.
who can pretend that the paltry gestures made by the
Israelis and presented as acts of goodwill can have any meaning at all
certainly made Mahmoud Abbas?s job impossible, as have the
actions of the US
Congress, which has effectively tied up any immediate aid to the
against President Bush?s wishes. Abbas
was left twisting in the wind during a short term as prime minister in
and it is now clear that this could be his fate again. Is
the Bush administration paying attention?