CMEP Bulletin: Prospects for Peace Remain Dim at End of Volatile Year
Quartet Statement Shows Little Progress
On December 15 the Middle East Quartet held separate talks with Palestinians and Israelis in hopes to jump-start the stalled peace process. However the statement released after the meetings indicated no progress has been made. It simply reiterated the September 23 statement, emphasizing “the important objective of a direct exchange between the parties, without preconditions or delay, beginning with a preparatory meeting and leading to the presentation of proposals on territory and security.”
The Quartet also included a phrase that has become commonplace in their statements, urging “the parties to refrain from provocative actions.” This statement is widely understood to mean Israel should stop building new settlements and some believe it has also come to mean that Palestinians should end their bid for recognition and membership in UN bodies.
Palestinian negotiators submitted their proposals on borders in November directly to the Quartet, while Israel has declined to do so citing their preference for direct negotiations rather than using the Quartet as a proxy. The Palestinians refuse to do so as long as new Israeli settlement building continues and there is no agreement to negotiate borders on the basis of the 1967 lines with adjustments.
Click here to continue reading this CMEP Bulletin, including the following items:
- Israeli government condemns “price tag” violence against Muslims
- Newt Gingrich: Palestinians are “an invented people”
- Report: Sharp increase this year in provocative actions
- Women and children released in Shalit prisoner exchange