Hamas, Settlers Must Be Involved In Talks Between Israel and PLO

Article Summary
Israeli settlers and Palestinian Islamists — including Hamas — should be involved in talks between Israel and the Palestinians, according a report released on Monday by the International Crisis Group.

The settlers and the Palestinian Islamists — including Hamas — should be integrated in talks between Israel and the Palestinians, according to the findings of a report released on Monday by the International Crisis Group (ICG), on the issue of the political process between Israel and the PLO.

The report recommends that, in the absence of political talks, the pillars of the peace process should be re-examined today: not to waive the two-state solution or the negotiations necessary for achieving it, but to consider how to integrate groups that were previously excluded from the process and create an efficient international framework for negotiations. Members of the ICG directorate include Wesley Clark, former NATO supreme allied commander; Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations and Joschka Fischer, former foreign minister of Germany.

The writers of the report argue that in the political process with the Palestinians, solutions must be found for such knotty issues as the historical connection of the Jews to such places as Hebron in Judea and Samaria and of the Palestinians to places such as Jaffa and Akko within the Green Line. The title of the International Crisis Group's report is "The Emporer Has No Clothes," and it argues that the "collective addiction" to "futile peace talks" must be halted.

The report emphasizes that it will not be easy for the government of Israel and the PLO leadership to do this, because they all profit from the very existence of the talks. In order to cope with the impasse, ICG calls for an innovative approach to achieve the two-state solution that will create incentives for the parties to reach an agreement.

Found in: settlers, peace talks, peace, palestine, kofi annan, israel, icg, hamas

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