(Ilana Messika/TPS) Nabil Shaath, Fatah Commissioner for International Relations, said Wednesday that the Palestinian leadership will not come back to the negotiating table as long as Israel does not stop building in Judea and Samaria. He added that all settlement options must be based on the two-state solution.
According to Shaath, the Palestinians also want negotiations with Israel to be time-limited, and must include the release of security prisoners jailed in Israel before the Oslo period began in 1993.
Shaath’s statements follow on the heels of PM Netanyahu’s statements to the Cabinet that although no formal agreement with Washington has been reached regarding construction in Judea and Samaria, Israel would unilaterally limit new construction to built-up areas within established settlements. That decision triggered a coalition squabble between the Likud and the Jewish Home parties, with the latter repeating its long-held view that Israel should abandon the idea of a Palestinian state.
The Fatah’s adviser declaration also echoes recent statements made by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas at the Arab League Summit in Amman, that implementing the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders is the only way to achieve peace and the Arab Peace Initiative remains the only option. The sentiment was reiterated by the Arab League leaders during the summit, who provided full support to Abbas.
Israeli Intelligence Chief Warns of ‘Iranian Crescent,’ Missile Factories in Lebanon
(JNS.org) The director-general of Israel’s Intelligence Ministry, Chagai Tzuriel, warned Monday of a “whole new kind of threat” against Israel taking hold inside Lebanon, involving increasing Iranian influence along the Jewish state’s borders.
Tzuriel expressed concern regarding the “huge development” of advanced Iranian weapons workshops building missiles inside Lebanon. The creation of a corridor between Iran and Lebanon, through Iraq and Syria—dubbed the “Iranian crescent”—is a more immediate threat than the Iranian nuclear issue, Tzuriel emphasized.
He also voiced concern regarding Iran’s role in Syria, telling reporters, “Israel believes that if Iran bases itself for the long run in Syria, it will be a constant source of friction and tension… And I think that may be only the tip of the iceberg. We’re talking here about the creation of an Iranian crescent.”
The intelligence chief made the comments at an event organized by The Israel Project, a nonpartisan American educational organization. His remarks came within a week of the U.S., Russia and Israel reportedly agreeing on the need to restrain, and eventually expel, Iran and its terror proxies from Syria.