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Ehud Olmert said that Israel would release prisoners, withdraw from West Bank Jewish settlements and ease checkpoints if Palestinians abandoned violence.
But although he held out the prospect of “real, open, genuine and serious dialogue” with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, Mr Olmert’s offer had three conditions. They were for Palestinians to replace Hamas with a new government committed to recognising Israel, implement President Bush’s long-delayed “road map” and release the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit.
Israeli extremist also slam Olmert. Not surprisingly, Olmert found himself criticized by Lieberman’s followers, too. So it’s not just Palestinians who have spoken out against Olmert’s magnanimous gesture, empty or otherwise.
Many Israeli extremists have denounced Olmert, too.But I say that should not stop Palestinians and Israelis from embracing Olmert’s pace gesture. It doesn’t matter whether it is an empty gesture or not.
The reality of the Palestine-Israel conflict is that Palestinians and Israelis are constantly making more emotional gestures that get out of hand and turn into violence.
Why not allow peace to get out of hand, for once, and result in peace, too?If Olmert lives up to his words - I’m not convinced he will live up to those words, or that Palestinians will allow him to live up to his stated intentions - then Palestinians must be ready to respond with a serious, non-violent national front.
Israel gives us our land back and we give them an equal proportion of peace. As the Israelis withdraw from occupied lands, Palestinians withdraw from conflict.
We would make a tremendous step forward if those people would think once about the Palestinian suffering.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday welcomed as "positive" peace overtures from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, stirring hopes for a diplomatic breakthrough amid a fragile truce. In another apparent goodwill gesture, Israel has agreed in principle to let Abbas send a security force loyal to him into Gaza, where a fragile truce is in effect, an Israeli diplomatic source said on Tuesday.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyya on Tuesday embarked on his first foreign tour since taking office to lobby for political and financial support in the region.
The Daily Star
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Bush administration has decided to ask the U.S. Congress for funds aimed at bolstering security forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, sources with knowledge of the plan said on Wednesday.
U.S. assistance in expanding Abbas's presidential guard and his control over the strategic Karni border crossing in Gaza will not include weapons or other forms of "lethal" equipment, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Originally posted by Mdv2
hundreds of prisoners will be exchanged for the captured Israeli soldier.