News / Middle East

    Israel Suspends Peace Talks With Palestinians

    Israel Suspends Peace Talks in Response to Palestinian Unity Plani
    X
    April 25, 2014 4:13 AM
    Israel on Thursday suspended peace negotiations with the Palestinians in response to a plan by Palestinian rivals Fatah and Hamas to reconcile and form a unity government. These developments further complicate U.S. efforts to mediate a peace deal between the two sides. VOA's Mike Richman has more.
    Watch related video from VOA's Mike Richman.
    Robert Berger
    The Middle East peace process is in danger of collapse, following a reconciliation pact between rival Palestinian factions and a tough Israeli response.  

    Israel’s Security Cabinet decided to suspend peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, after it agreed to form a unity government with the rival Islamic militant group Hamas.

    Palestinian President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas rules the West Bank, while Hamas controls the Gaza Strip.

    Israel has been holding peace talks with Abbas for nine months, but Hamas supports armed struggle to liberate all of Palestine and says negotiations are a waste of time.

    “Hamas does not change its very hardline positions," said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev.  "Hamas is stuck in a very extremist, terrorist mode.  And as the result, if Hamas is now part of the Palestinian government, we will not talk to people who say the State of Israel must be destroyed.”

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had earlier criticized the announcement, saying Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who represents Fatah, is complicating ongoing peace talks.

    "Instead of moving into peace with Israel, he is moving into peace with Hamas and he has to choose.  Does he want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel.  You can have one, but not the other," he said.

    Netanyahu called Hamas a "murderous terror organization that calls for the destruction of Israel."   Israel, the United States and the European Union consider Hamas a terror group.

    Fatah officials say reconciliation is an internal Palestinian affair and it reflects the will of the people.  Palestinian Cabinet minister Hisham Abdel Razek believes a unity government would actually advance the peace process.

    Abdel Razek told Israel Radio that Hamas would have to accept the policies of President Abbas, which is a negotiated peace based on a two-state solution.

    Palestinian reactions

    Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh says he was not surprised by the Israeli response.

    "The Israeli position was expected. This is occupation, and absolutely they do not want the Palestinian people to be united and want the division to continue," he said.

    Palestinian legislator Mustafa Barghouti said the reaction by Netanyahu was "very strange."

    "When we are divided, Mr. Netanyahu claims that he can not find a Palestinian that can represent all Palestinians and thus he cannot make peace and when we are united he claims that he cannot make peace with a unified Palestinian front," he said. "In my opinion it is Mr. Netanyahu that is the problem, it is his extreme government that is the problem. Mr. Netanyahu has chosen settlements over peace."

    Hamas and Fatah split violently in 2007, and have since divided their people between two sets of rulers.

    It remains unclear how this plan would succeed where past attempts have repeatedly failed.  It also adds new complications to U.S. efforts to mediate a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

    US disappointed

    In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington is "disappointed" by the announcement, and she warned it could seriously complicate peace efforts.  

    She said, "It is hard to see how Israel can be expected to negotiate with a government that does not believe in its right to exist."

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Broilee S. from: Germany
    April 25, 2014 12:18 PM
    I have noticed something very interesting lately (actually it was pointed out to me by a Professor) the ugly caricatures of WW2 depicting Jews... do not look like Jews at all... they look like Arabs!!! the hateful caricatures of WW2 actually depict Arabs.
    In Response

    by: Svetlana from: Russia
    April 25, 2014 1:58 PM
    excellent point, Broilee. and very true indeed. Jews are predominately very White with dark hair. The ugly caricatures you see in Pre War German Anti-Semitic propaganda bears no resemblance to actual Jews - who many consider beautiful and aesthetically very appealing. The caricatures are actually a distorted stereotype of Arabs. But the caricatures were a powerful propaganda tool at the early and limited age of Mass Media - so people did not know how distorted and incorrect they were.

    by: abdi from: ethiopia
    April 25, 2014 7:41 AM
    this a good progress and example for Arabs but they accept israeli as a nation and negociate

    by: Hoda from: Canada
    April 24, 2014 5:20 PM
    Dear Dr Badlawi, I saw your interview on AlJazeera - excellent insight into the "Arab Mentality" - My father is a Jordanian refugee and he had said the same thing to me. My father has been living in Canada for the past 30 years and he hates the "West" with a passion only Arabs know - why do you think it is..?? he could have easily become a terrorist against the Country that gave him refuge..!!!
    In Response

    by: Fren DeBoux from: Canada
    April 25, 2014 6:12 PM
    this is despicable..!! you say that your own father - a Jordanian refugee to Canada could have easily become a terrorist against the country that gave him refuge..??!! what sort of distorted mentality do Arabs have..?? We must stop importing these scumbags into our country. I am really afraid for my children and family

    by: Dr. Badlawi from: Jordan
    April 24, 2014 2:56 PM
    as i said before, the Arabs of Gaza are not going to be friendly to the Arabs of the west bank. in fact the two groups hate each other. you see, these are very different peoples. the Arabs of Gaza are essentially Egyptians, and the Arabs of the West Bank are Jordanians. so, sectarianism is dominating what we call "Philistines Authority.." but no Arab feels allegiance to this squalid and corrupt "authority". Islam does not recognize "government" - we are sectarian people, if you don't know that about us you know nothing about us.
    In Response

    by: Joe Public OU812 from: USA
    April 24, 2014 5:15 PM
    So you are a Jordanian and say you have no allegiance to any government? You are not going to be friendly to anyone from
    Gaza? Do you wonder if you can not make peace with the Arab
    community in Gaza, if it will ever be possible to make peace with
    a Jew?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.