News / Middle East

Obama Makes Appeal for Extension of Mideast Peace Talks

U.S. President Barack Obama answers a reporter's question during a joint news conference with South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, April 25, 2014.
U.S. President Barack Obama answers a reporter's question during a joint news conference with South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, April 25, 2014.
VOA News
President Barack Obama says it may be time for a pause in Middle East peace talks while both Israelis and Palestinians consider their options.

Obama told reporters Friday in Seoul during a visit to South Korea that it is still in the interest of both sides to seek peace, but that neither side has shown the political will to make tough decisions.

He made the comments one day after Israel's Security Cabinet decided to suspend peace negotiations with the Palestinians in response to a plan by Palestinian rivals Fatah and Hamas to reconcile and form a unity government.

Obama said the Palestinian decision to unite the two factions is "unhelpful," but the president said his administration will not give up on Secretary of State John Kerry's push for peace, despite the latest setback.

Following a six-hour meeting Thursday, the Israeli Cabinet said in a statement Israel will "respond to unilateral Palestinian action with a series of measures."
 
FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in his office in Jerusalem.FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in his office in Jerusalem.
x
FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in his office in Jerusalem.
FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in his office in Jerusalem.
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," he said.  "Does he want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel.  You can have one, but not the other."

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.
 
File Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh speaks to the media during a news conference in Gaza City.File Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh speaks to the media during a news conference in Gaza City.
x
File Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh speaks to the media during a news conference in Gaza City.
File Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh speaks to the media during a news conference in Gaza City.
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 Palestinian legislator Mustafa Barghouti said the reaction by Netanyahu was "very strange".

"When we are divided [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] 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 noted. "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.

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

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

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: aNONTDH from: 15904
April 26, 2014 3:21 PM
Kissinger, US intelligence community endorse
“World Without Israel”

By Kevin Barrett

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been vilified in the Western media for daring to imagine “a world without Israel.”
But according to news reports, Henry Kissinger and sixteen American intelligence agencies agree that in the near future, Israel will no longer exist.
The New York Post quotes Kissinger “word for word”: In 10 years, there will be no more Israel.
Kissinger's statement is flat and unqualified. He is not saying that Israel is in danger, but could be saved if we just gave it additional trillions of dollars and smashed enough of its enemies with our military. He is not saying that if we elect Netanyahu's old friend Mitt Romney, Israel could somehow be salvaged. He is not saying that if we bomb Iran, Israel might survive. He is not offering a way out. He is simply stating a fact: In 2022, Israel will no longer exist.
The US Intelligence Community agrees, though perhaps not on the precise 2022 expiration date. Sixteen US intelligence agencies with a combined budget over USD70 billion have issued an 82-page analysis titled “Preparing for a Post-Israel Middle East.”
The US intelligence report observes that the 700,000 Israeli settlers illegally squatting on land stolen in 1967 - land that the entire world agrees belongs to Palestine, not Israel - are not going to pack up and leave peacefully. Since the world will never accept their ongoing presence on stolen land, Israel is like South Africa in the late 1980s.

by: Malody from: USA
April 25, 2014 4:48 PM
hey when the Philistines Authority align themselves with a jihadi Islamic terrorist organization - that is it... the game of hoodwinking the West is over. The West Bank is an Israeli sovereign territory and they should assert more control of their own land... and do US all a favor and show the Philistines their way to Jordan... that is their country. i don't want to go an my yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem and be stripped searched by a lascivious Philistine Islamic terrorist... enough is enough..!!! out the Philistines go

by: rbockman from: Philadelphia
April 25, 2014 1:57 PM
impossible situation for the Jews, how can you trust a people who decapitate, stone people to death, teach their children to hate, perform female genital mutilation, murder their daughters and sisters for some idea of honor

by: meanbill from: USA
April 25, 2014 10:01 AM
The problem with the Middle East peace talks is; -- That Israel keeps moving the goalposts and demanding the Palestinians accept their terms, without even considering the Palestinian positions on their future, or their statehood? -- Israel keeps forever expanding, at the expense of the Palestinians?
In Response

by: ajkl from: USA
April 25, 2014 2:49 PM
If you mean recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and renouncing violence against civilians, I can see why Israel has been compromising on these issues. Oops, I mean these are the goalposts that the Palestinians / Hamas think are moveable. When will the world and moderate Muslims say enough is enough with Muslims killing off their own people (everyday we read about a new suicide bombing) and spewing hate?

by: G. Von Richter from: New York State
April 25, 2014 9:54 AM
We have to keep our eye on the ball with Israel. All attention is given to this disagreement concerning unity. What we also need to watch for is the Israeli's about to strike Iran as they have promised to do since they could not convince the USA to do it. Are we being entertained by unity news while a big military event is about to unfold?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs