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Israel's colonisation of Palestine blocking peace, says Jimmy Carter

Von: Jan den Hollander (spam@uce.gov) [Profil]
Datum: 06.01.2007 10:11
Message-ID: <vJJnh.338017$Fi1.296361@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net>
Newsgroup: nl.actueel.terrorisme nl.politiek nl.religie

Israel's colonisation of Palestine blocking peace, says Jimmy Carter

· Actions will perpetuate violence across region
· Future for West Bank and Gaza Strip 'dismal'

The former US president Jimmy Carter has described Israel's
"colonisation of Palestine" through expanding Jewish settlements as the
single greatest obstacle to a resolution of the conflict.

Mr Carter, 81, who negotiated the 1978 Camp David peace accord between
Israel and Egypt, wrote in the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz yesterday that
Israel's actions doom any Palestinian state to a "dismal" future and
will perpetuate violence across the Middle East. "The pre-eminent
obstacle to peace is Israel's colonisation of Palestine," he wrote.
"Israel's occupation of Palestine has obstructed a comprehensive peace
agreement in the Holy Land, regardless of whether Palestinians had no
formalised government, one headed by Yasser Arafat or Mahmoud Abbas, or
with Abbas as president and Hamas controlling the parliament and cabinet."

Mr Carter also questioned Israel's commitment to the US-led "road map"
peace process. "Israel has officially rejected its basic premises with
patently unacceptable caveats and prerequisites," he said.

He said Israel was insincere at peace negotiations during the 1990s when
it offered to withdraw only a small proportion of the 225,000 settlers
living in the West Bank. "Their best official offer to the Palestinians
was to withdraw 20% of them, leaving 180,000 [Israelis] in 209
settlements, covering about 5% of the occupied land," he said.

"The 5% figure is grossly misleading, with surrounding areas taken or
earmarked for expansion, roadways joining settlements with each other
and to Jerusalem, and wide arterial swaths providing water, sewage,
electricity and communications. This intricate honeycomb divides the
entire West Bank into multiple fragments, often uninhabitable or even

This week the acting Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said that if
he wins this month's general election, as expected, he will annex the
main settlement blocks that are home to about 80% of settlers.|

Mr Carter said Israel's unilateral pullout from the Gaza Strip had left
it as a "non-viable economic and political entity" and that the future
of the West Bank is "equally dismal".

"Especially troublesome is Israel's construction of huge concrete
dividing walls in populated areas and high fences in rural areas -
located entirely on Palestinian territory and often with deep intrusions
to encompass more land and settlements ...

"This will never be acceptable either to Palestinians or to the
international community, and will inevitably precipitate increased
tension and violence within Palestine, and stronger resentment and
animosity from the Arab world against America, which will be held
accountable for the plight of the Palestinians."

Hamas is expected to deliver a list of proposed cabinet ministers to the
Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, today after the once-dominant
Fatah party said it would not join the new government. The prime
minister designate, Ismail Haniyeh, told CBS television that he hoped
one day to sign a peace agreement with Israel. But he said Hamas would
renounce violence and recognise the Jewish state only when Israel
recognised "a Palestinian state within the boundaries of Gaza, the West
Bank and East Jerusalem".

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