Israel Aborts the Peace Process
- 17 January 2008
The recent Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip that killed about 19 Palestinians and injured 50 others dealt a fatal blow to peace efforts at more than one level in the region. The visit of US President George Bush to the Middle East comes in this backdrop. It seems that Israel is not bothered about establishing real peace, but is seeking to impose its agenda by force and on its own terms. Israel’s repeated attacks in the Gaza Strip have put Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) in a difficult situation as the final settlement negotiations with the Israeli side have now been launched. Similarly, all peacemakers in the Arab world also find themselves in an uncomfortable position because peace talks cannot move along in the wake of daily killings of Palestinian people, the Jewish settlement projects that are transforming the Palestinian landscape, and Israel’s pursuance of its policy to impose a fait accompli on negotiations for a final settlement.
The hostile approach adopted by the Israeli government that may culminate into a full-scale invasion of the Gaza Strip benefits extremists on both sides as well as those who refuse a peaceful settlement of the issues. This could lead to a general outbreak of violence, extremism, and bloodshed in the region, strengthen extremists and votaries of violence and conflict, who consider the daily Israeli atrocities as justification for scuttling peace negotiations and undermining the political progress that seeks to secure rights and establish a Palestinian state.
The continued pressure on the Gaza Strip, the stifling economic blockade taking place and the daily attacks by the Israeli army would lead people in the Gaza Strip to be antagonistic toward Israel and the peace process. This would push the situation back to square one and would cause tumultuous changes, with unforeseen outcomes.
Any negotiation aimed at realizing peace between the feuding parties requires suitable conditions for success. However, Israeli actions are moving in the opposite direction, and they are fomenting tension and conflict. For this reason, international patrons of the peace process are taking a strong position to prevent Israel from obstructing the peace process, which is putting up obstacles in an organized and deliberate manner. If the peace process were stalled, it would adversely affect the whole of Middle East.