(Details Below)

Reprinted from Ha'aretz of November 1, 1999

Barak Will Offer Statehood to
Palestinians in February Accord

PM to Demand Palestinian Recognition of
West Jerusalem as Israeli Capital

By Akiva Eldar, Ha'aretz Correspondent

The framework agreement to be signed by Israel and the Palestinians this coming February will include Israeli acceptance of the establishment of a Palestinian state in part of the territories, according to the results of informal contacts between Israel, the United States and the Palestinian Authority.

The actual establishment of the Palestinian state will occur on the eve of the signing of the detailed final agreement, which is slated for the end of next year. Senior diplomatic sources explain that Israel prefers to sign an agreement with a recognized state rather than with a temporary authority or the Palestine Liberation Organization, which has signed agreements until now. [Editor's Note: Will the stench of Jewish blood be less noticeable on Arafat's hands if you call his terrorist organization a state?]

Prime Minister Ehud Barak would prefer that the implementation of the framework agreement take place only after the signing of the fully detailed agreement, but he does not object to the principle of the Palestinians' establishing their independent entity in any way they choose - including a sovereign state - as part of the framework agreement.

As a result of recent contacts between the parties, it appears Barak wants the framework agreement to include several key points:

* There will be no return to the 1967 borders [Editor's Note: more correct to say a substantial return to 1967 borders.]

* Settlements around Jerusalem and along the Green Line will be concentrated into three main blocks

[Editor's Note: Like ghettos? Nu? Did Jews return to their Holy Land to be herded into ghettos?]

* Settlers choosing to remain in the Palestinian-controlled areas will get special rights - as will Palestinians choosing to remain in the Israel-controlled areas. [Editor's Note: The primary right of Jews in Palestinian areas will be to be murdered and ethnically cleansed at the earliest possible moment.]

* Jerusalem will remain undivided but will be expanded to include Palestinian neighborhoods, with the Palestinians recognizing West Jerusalem as Israel's capital. [Editor's Note: Since when did Israel need Arab approval for its capital? (No decision has been reached on the fate of the Old City.[Editor's Note: Perhaps the brilliant thinkers who have put the Old City as well as Jerusalem on the negotiating table could also suggest that the conversion of Jews to Islam should also be decided by negotiation.] According to one proposal, offered by Ministers Yossi Beilin and Haim Ramon, the Old City would remain on the negotiating table for future talks.)

* The Palestinians will give up the right of return to territory inside the Green Line [Editor's Note: What right??? Is Barak giving them a right that they never had in order have them give it up and then he can say he got a concession from them?], but the refugees from 1967 will be allowed back into the territories according to the new entity's ability to absorb them. Israel will compensate the refugees from 1948 for their lost property and will enlist international support for their rehabilitation outside Israel.[Editor's Note: There seems to be no mention of the property of Jews forced out of Arab countries. As for Arab refugees, I don't believe any exist. If you live somewhere for 50 years you are not a refugee, you are a resident. Even if they did, they were victims of a war forced on Israel by their leaders and any compensation is due from Arab not Jewish sources.]

* The Palestinian state will be demilitarized, and will not sign any military agreements with states hostile to Israel. [Editor's Note: This is a joke and Barak knows it. The Palestinians ALREADY have 50,000 men under arms and a rapidly growing arsenal of APC's, rockets, morters, heavy machine guns, anti-aircraft weapons and more are being smuggled into Gaza via tunnels from Sinai (with Egyptian cooperation).

* The two sides will establish security arrangements to protect both states from external threats.

[Editor's Note: The terrorist-state of Palestine is already a big threat to Israel. Does anyone believe Arafat is going to help Israel with threats from Iran, Iraq, Egypt or Syria?]

So far, the United States is backing the Palestinians' position calling for implementation of the framework agreement immediately upon its signing in February 2000. According to an Israeli source close to the Palestinians, PA negotiators Abu Mazen and Abu Ala convinced PA Chairman Yasser Arafat that operative moves toward the establishment of a Palestinian state, even within temporary borders, should begin immediately after the signing of the framework of principles.

Barak knows that it is difficult to make a deal between a sovereign state and a national liberation movement. Such a deal is bound to last only as an interim agreement in which one side remains the occupier and the other remains the occupied. None of the agreements signed since Oslo, through the Sharm el Sheikh agreement, touched on the issue of sovereignty. So far, all the agreements have dealt with the division of responsibility, whether civilian or military, between the state of Israel and the temporary Palestinian Authority. The Americans maneuvered within this assymetric equation by referring to them as "the Israeli side and the Palestinian side."

But final status agreements are different. The PLO cannot be a partner to an international agreement that settles the conflict between two sovereign states. For example, the PLO cannot commit the Palestinian entity to refrain from military alliances with elements hostile to Israel.

Thus, heading into the final status talks, the issue of the partner has raised the question of the Palestinian state. How can Israel sign an agreement with a state before it is established? Especially when Israel's agreement to the establishment of such a state is an important negotiating card.

Barak's solution is found in the two-stage framework laid down at Sharm. A Palestinian entity will be the first article mentioned in the framework agreement to be signed in February. That will allow Arafat to establish an independent state within the temporary borders of Area A on the eve of the signing of the final, detailed agreement - and allow the prime minister to head into a referendum with a draft treaty with a state, not with a former national liberation (terror) organization. [Final Editor's Note: One should not take seriously any agreement with Arafat or any other Arab leader. In short, they are liars and have never kept any previous agreements with Israel. What will happen is that all the concessions of Israel will be pocketed and they will become the starting point for new demands. The conflict will not end until Israel disappears. It is an old story. A little peace for a little land. Final peace for all the land.]

(c) copyright 1999 Ha'aretz.

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