Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Rice meets PM, praises Olmert's diplomatic plan

Last update - 18:18 30/11/2006

Rice meets PM, praises Olmert's diplomatic plan
By Yoav Stern and Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondent, Haaretz Service and

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
in Jerusalem on Thursday and praised the prime minister for his diplomatic
initiative presented earlier this week.

"Rice expressed her appreciation for Prime Minister Olmert's speech earlier
this week and said that it was an important step that was likely to both
contribute towards calm and advance the peace processes in the region," said
the Prime Minister's Office in a statement. "The secretary of state updated
the prime minister on her meeting earlier today with Palestinian Authority
Chairman Mahmoud Abbas."

Olmert said Monday during a speech in Sde Boker that Israel would accept a
territorially contiguous Palestinian state in the West Bank in exchange for
Palestinians relinquishing their demand for a return of Palestinian refugees
to Israel.

The two also discussed the fresh cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.

"Prime Minister Olmert informed Secretary of State Rice on his meeting with
Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman regarding the cease-fire, [arms]
smuggling and the ongoing efforts to release [captured Israel Defense Forces
soldier Gilad Shalit," said the statement. "The two also discussed the Iranian

According to Army Radio, Rice urged the prime minister to strengthen the Gaza
cease-fire, and expressed her appreciation for the Israeli restraint in the
wake of violations of the truce on the part of Palestinian militants.

Olmert's chief of staff Yoram Turbowitz, his military adviser, Major General
Gadi Shamni, the prime minister's diplomatic adviser, Shalom Turgeman, and his
media adviser, Asaf Shariv, also attended the meeting.

The American delegation included U.S. Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones,
Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs C. David Welch and
National Security Council Director for Near East and North African Affairs
Elliot Abrams.

Rice is currently meeting with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

Rice meets Abbas, says Washington to intensify peace efforts
Speaking a press conference with Abbas in Jericho hours earlier, Rice said
that Washington wanted to "intensify our efforts" to renew the peace process.

She said that the U.S. has made clear it expects a viable, contiguous
Palestinian state when it is created, and that no actions should be taken now
to prejudge the outcome of a final peace agreement.

She added that the U.S. is interested in seeing Palestinian Authority reforms
of its security services and political institutions.

Meanwhile, Abbas told reporters that talks on a unity government with the
ruling Hamas organization had reached a "dead end."

Ahead of the Jericho meeting, an Abbas confidant said he believed the
cease-fire and a conciliatory speech by Olmert earlier this week have created
new momentum.

"I think it's up to us and the Israelis to make it work," said the chief
Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat. "It can work. The opportunity is there."

In Amman on Thursday, Bush appealed for support for Abbas, referring to him by
his commonly used nomme de guerre, Abu Mazen.

"Abu Mazen, who I believe wants there to be a Palestinian state living side by
side in peace with Israel, deserves the support of the world. And he deserves
support in peeling his government away from those who do not recognize
Israel's right to exist," Bush said at a news conference with the Iraqi Prime
Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Israeli officials said Olmert would emphasize to Rice that pressure must be
maintained on the Palestinian leadership to continue isolating Hamas and press
for the formation of a Palestinian government that recognizes Israel,
renounces violence and accepts previous peace accords, as the international
community has demanded.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar of Hamas said he didn't think the
meeting would help the Palestinian cause.

"Our experience with these meetings and these visits are that they justify
more Israeli aggression against our people," Zahar said at a news conference
before the Rice-Abbas talks began.

Sources say that Rice's visit to Jerusalem is designed to show American
support for the fledgling negotiating process. The process began with the
cease-fire that began Sunday, and should presumably lead to setting up a
Palestinian national unity government.

In the next stage, the U.S. is expected to help jump-start the political
negotiations between Israel and the PA.

Palestinian sources said Rice is expected to ask Abbas and Israel to expand
the cease-fire to the West Bank. They will also discuss implementing the
border passes agreement that was signed by the U.S., Israel and the PA after
Israel's pullout from Gaza.

UN report: Israel violating Gaza border crossing agreement
The visit by Rice is expected to be preceded by the release of an extremely
critical report written by the United Nations Coordinator for Humanitarian
Affairs in the Territories. The report, a copy of which has reached Haaretz,
accuses Israel of violating the border crossings agreement's every single

The report says that closing the passes for most of the year catapulted the
unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip from 33 percent in 2005 to 42 percent this
year. Since Shalit's abduction on June 25, the passes have been closed 86
percent of the time, the report says. Since mid-January, the average number of
trucks passing through Karni has been 12 a day, while in the agreement Israel
had undertaken to raise the number to 400 trucks a day by the end of the year.

Israel also violated its commitment to alleviate the passage of people and
merchandise in the West Bank, and to enable the passage between the Gaza Strip
and the West Bank. In fact, all contact between the two regions has been cut
off. The number of roadblocks in the West Bank rose during the past year by 44
percent and Israel divided the West Bank into ten enclaves.

Israel broke its commitment to allow convoys to pass from the Gaza Strip to
the West Bank and to advance the operation of air and sea ports in the Gaza

The UN report emphasizes that since the beginning of April, Israel had cited
security reasons for most of the closures of the Karni terminal, but that no
security breaches had occurred there since April 26.

The cumbersome security arrangements enable only 40 percent of the trucks
carrying export goods from the Gaza Strip to go through the border pass. The
resulting damage to agricultural exports is estimated to be more than $30
million for this year. The losses incurred to the hothouses purchased from the
Gush Katif settlements, resulting from the need to destroy hundreds of tons of
strawberries and flowers, reached $6 million.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by

Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israƫl in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog

Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Isfake lobby

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory