Call me "skeptical" but I think this is some sort of phony media stunt to get Abbas re-elected in June 2010. After all the, so called "settlement freeze" is not to be made public. Should this supposed plan go forth we'll have to see if any reports of Israelis getting pissed off that they can't build on Palestinian land, or steal homes off Palestinians start showing up on blogs or right wing Zionist media outlets. Don't hold your breath. Besides, can you picture Obama telling Israel they have to give up all that stolen land and return to 67 borders and get out of East Jerusalem? Obama would likely end up like JFK. No, I tend to think the way this is being presented that it is a stunt agreed upon by Israel and the US, with France and Egypt's assistance, to create support for Abbas and get their puppet re-elected so he can continue to negotiate away the rights of Palestinians AND a sovereign Palestinian state. Without something like this, some monumental thing, he has a "Snowballs chance in Israel" of being re-elected after rolling over on Goldstone for Israel/America. Still if there were to be any real movement it would not be made public on the Israeli side, that's for certain, what with all their armed insane Illegal Settlers who would stage a coup along with their nutty Rabbis and IDF pals. But we are no where near this stage yet, and this is yet another reason to discredit this report. We will see where this takes us, but I'm sticking with my "stunt" scenario for now:
The United States and Egypt, along with France, are planning a joint move to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks on the basis of the June 4, 1967, borders,territorial exchanges and a complete freeze of construction beyond the Green Line, including East Jerusalem. The freeze would not be announced publicly.
Egypt's foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said in an extensive interview
with the Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat that "once they realized their earlier
approach had failed, the Americans see themselves forced to change direction."
He added that Egypt had recently discussed with Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas the new strategies for negotiations raised in talks between Cairo, Washington and Paris. An Egyptian source told Haaretz that Egypt's intelligence minister, Omar Suleiman, is scheduled to visit Israel and then Washington in the coming days.
to the Middle East, George Mitchell, to arrive in Jerusalem and Ramallah during
the first week of January. He said Mitchell will be pushing an initiative to
renew negotiations, in coordination with the Arab League and on the basis of a
complete freeze of settlement construction for five months - without a public
statement to that effect.
Such an initiative would allow Abbas to hold general elections in the territories in June 2010. The Egyptian foreign minister said the new program would set up the basic principles of the negotiations, the intended results and a clear timetable. He added that an agreement would have to include the following points: Establishing a Palestinian state on all territories occupied in 1967, with a possibility for small-scale territorial exchanges; establishing East Jerusalem as a Palestinian capital; a just arrangement for all refugee issues; agreed security arrangements; normalization between the Arab world and Israel; and no construction in settlements until the negotiations are complete. Aboul Gheit also said the United States will soon present its position on this plan, and that there is a possibility that the plan would be made part of a United Nations Security Council resolution, a Quartet decision or speeches aimed at the negotiating sides.