Wednesday, October 04, 2006

MORE "International Observers" ON ISRAEL'S BORDERS



Original post from: MSNBC

Blockade of Gaza Could be Eased by Rice Plans

By: Harvey Morris in Jerusalem

International observers could be deployed at the main cargo crossing point between Israel and the Gaza Strip as part of expected proposals by Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state, to loosen the economic siege of the Palestinian territory, diplomats said.

Ms Rice was due in Jerusalem on Wednesday for separate talks with an Israeli government politically weakened by the war in Lebanon, and with officials of a Palestinian administration that risks disintegrating in an upsurge of factional violence.

In the face of political stagnation on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide, US officials played down the prospect that she would bring any new initiative to restart the peace process. But western diplomats said she was expected to try to revive a moribund agreement on easing the movement of Palestinian goods and people. Ms Rice brokered the agreement last November, eventually overcoming Israeli objections in an extended round of frequently abrasive talks. But 11 months on, most elements of the deal have yet to be implemented.

In the intervening period, and particularly since Hamas won Palestinian elections in January, movement to and from the Gaza Strip has actually been more restricted than before Israel withdrew from the territory more than a year ago.

The Israeli authorities have frequently cited security concerns when ordering closure of crossing points, an argument that was reinforced by the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier on June 26 by Palestinian militants who tunnelled out from Gaza.

The negative impact of closures on Palestinian exports has exacerbated the economic decline brought on by Israeli and international financial measures against the Hamas government.
The only element of Ms Rice's November deal that was implemented was the deployment of unarmed European observers to monitor traffic at the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt. Since the June kidnapping, however, Israel has forced the closure of Rafah for all but a few days.

Among the proposals Ms Rice was expected to bring with her this time was a plan to deploy international observers at the main Karni cargo crossing point between Gaza and Israel. It has also been closed for about a third of the time since the November agreement was an-nounced. Palestinian officials say the frequent closures of Karni cost Gazan farmers $400,000 a day during the 2005 harvest season. The measures have also hit Gaza's lucrative textile export trade.

Diplomats said that the US was unlikely to offer to supply its own forces and might appeal again to EU states that are already playing a central role in the expanded international presence in south Lebanon.

Foreign observers might also be deployed along the Egypt-Gaza border where Israeli officials say arms smuggling is out of control.

"After Lebanon, people are more interested in internationalising security in the region," said one diplomat.

There is growing concern in Arab capitals about the disintegrating social and political conditions in the Palestinian territories and the ammunition this is providing for extremists throughout the region. Egyptian officials argue that only when there is a more comprehensive framework for negotiations on substantive issues between the Israelis and Palestinians will it be possible to make progress on details.

Foreign ministers from eight US-allied Arab countries who met Ms Rice in Cairo on Tuesday had hoped to impress this on her but are themselves increasingly frustrated by the inflexibility of Hamas, with months of efforts by Cairo to negotiate the release of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers in return for the release of Palestinian prisoners so far achieving little. The meeting in Cairo appeared to break little new ground.

"The Palestinians need a government that can represent the interests of the Palestinians and can engage with the international community in accordance with the broad consensus for a two-state solution," Ms Rice said in a press conference with Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Egypt's foreign minister.

Additional reporting by William Wallis in Cairo.

Copyright The Financial Times Ltd. All rights reserved.



Blogger Tamar Yonah said...

The arabs in the P.A. voted in democratic elections, for the HAMAS. Now they have them, and they have to deal with it. No more hand outs to these terrorists and criminals. They slept in their bed, now they have to make it. Condi Rice's requests that we give before they stop their criminal and murderous ways, is irresponsible and makes me angry, becasue it encourgaes more terror and more evil.
Yesterday I was in downtown Jerusalem and there were cops everywhere and traffic jams and no place to park, all because of Condi's visit (There were US embassy cars everywhere all over our main streets) and her visit is to our detriment in the end, because she is always pushing Israel to give up, give in, to the terror entity and the arab people.
Thanks Elaine, for posting this so people can see what is going on here.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Elaine said...

Thanks so much for your comment. I agree completely with you on this issue !! I couldn't have said it any better !! You said that it makes you angry, well it makes me "down right hopping mad", as we say down here in the South !! Not only was I angered by Condi Rice's recommendations, but also by the article itself. In my opinion the entire article is biased toward the PA and the Arabs. Case-in-point, where it reads, and I quote, "The negative impact of closures on Palestinian exports has exacerbated the economic decline brought on by Israeli and international financial measures against the Hamas government", this would have you believe that the current economic crisis they claim has led to the resent infighting among the Palestinians, is Israel's fault, due to the closure of border crossings. This simply put is not the case, the Palestinian government has taken in literally millions of dollars, both from foreign aid, and also from other Arab countries intended to bankroll, and promote further violence against, and ultimately the destruction of Israel. The money supposedly was to go toward the establishment of an infastructure and social welfare program to assist needy Palestinian families, and to ultimately establish a Palestinian state, out-of, by the way, not beside, Israel. Where has all this money gone ?? Does anyone know ?? Someone should be asking this question !! Israel is only attempting to protect her citizens from terrorist attacks on her borders as well as those carried-out inside her borders. This is necessisary because the Palestinians have no intention ever, of living and co-existing "beside" Israel. They make no secret of their true agenda, the complete anialation of Israel, to be replaced by the newly formed state of Palestine, with Jerusalem as it's capitol. Another quote from the article that really bothered me was this, "After Lebanon, people are more interested in internationalising security in the region," said one diplomat." I would hope that this isn't true !! Can Israelis' really be in favor of this ??
It reminds me of American's begging for laws to be enacted after 9/11, that seriously threaten to take away many of our liberties and individual rights, all for the sake of "security" of course !!! Has Israel become so desperate for "security" that she is now begging to be besieged by foreign troops being deployed on all her borders ?? I don't think this is wise !!! My husband has a quote from a founding father of this country (America), Benjamin Franklin, that he often quotes, I can't quote it exactly at the moment, but it goes something like this, "Anyone who is willing to sacrifice liberty for peace, is deserving of neither", as I said, not an exact quote, but I think you can get what he was saying. More "international observers" on Israel's borders is, in my opinion, A VERY BAD IDEA, AND A VERY DANGEROUS MOVE !!!!

5:22 AM  

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