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Israel's actions in Gaza trample hopes of Arab Peace Initiative

Prince Turki Al Faisal writes that Israeli brutality in Gaza and mistakes by Hamas' leadership have destroyed an opportunity to end the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (back to camera) meets with the Arab League Peace Initiative at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Amman, July 17, 2013. Kerry is due to meet on Wednesday with officials from Arab nations that he regards as essential to his push to get Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace talks. REUTERS/Mandel Ngan/Pool (JORDAN - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX11P6I

As recent events so blatantly display, the Israeli government has ignored the Arab Peace Initiative and fully committed itself, as well as the Israeli and Palestinian people, to continuous conflict, bloodshed and suffering. A replay of the broken record of killing and counter-killing was inevitable the minute the Israeli prime minister shot down US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to restart negotiations between him and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Based on Benjamin Netanyahu's accusation that Hamas abducted and killed three Israeli settlers, Israeli security forces have rampaged the West Bank, arresting hundreds, including Hamas members of the Palestinian assembly, and killing a number of Palestinians in the process. The killing and burning of a Palestinian teenager by three Israelis, two of whom were settlers, then merely added to the bloodshed and exacerbated the situation.

Of course, blood has been spilling throughout the region since the passing of the UN Security Council’s Resolution 242 calling for Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied in 1967. The resolution also stipulated that the occupation of land by armed force is unacceptable, thus denying Israel any legitimacy in its attempts to justify holding onto the occupied regions. Yet, as history continues to repeat itself in savage cycles, the firing of rockets from Gaza was simply another response to Israeli belligerence, now under the guise of Netanyahu. The subsequent military assault we are currently witnessing as Israel’s response to these strikes has murdered hundreds of innocent Palestinians whom no callous and self-serving words of condolence can return to life.

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