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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid