Netanyahu and Abbas must define Israel boundary
The settlements: “The settlements are on territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and are deemed by the World Court to be illegal under international law.”
Does Israel recognize the World Court? Does the United States recognize the World Court? When land is seized in war, under what conditions must the winner give it back?
“The International Court of Justice (French: Cour internationale de justice; commonly referred to as the World Court or ICJ) is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. Its main functions are to settle legal disputes submitted to it by states and to give advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international organs, agencies, and the UN General Assembly. The ICJ should not be confused with the International Criminal Court, which potentially also has global jurisdiction.”
It seems to me that since the UN established Israel that this court would be observed as having some interpretative jurisdiction on the subject of settlements on land won in war.
“Mideast leaders 'getting down to business' on second day of talks Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas continue discussions in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM — Israeli and Palestinian leaders are "getting down to business" in tackling the key issues at the heart of their conflict, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday.
But Clinton gave no indication that the sides are any closer to resolving the most immediate stumbling block to newly relaunched peace talks: a Palestinian threat to quit the negotiations if Israel doesn't extend a curb on West Bank settlement construction.
Clinton is in Jerusalem for a second day of talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a day after meeting the leaders at a summit in Egypt.
Addressing reporters, Clinton said they already have "begun to grapple with the core issues" in their conflict. But she made no mention of the settlement dispute.
Netanyahu will first meet separately with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Abbas will join them in the afternoon for three-way talks that will also be attended by Washington's Middle East envoy George Mitchell.
The two leaders failed in talks Tuesday to find a compromise over the settlements, but Mitchell said the pair had discussed several core issues that split the two sides and said that they were convinced they could reach a deal within a year.
A 10-month Israeli moratorium on new housing construction in West Bank settlements expires on Sept. 30 and Palestinians have said they would quit the U.S.-brokered talks if building resumes.
Mitchell said after meetings in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh that he believed they were "moving in the right direction overall."
Settlements, violence complicate talks
The status of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees, the borders of a future Palestinian state and security arrangements are the main issues that the two leaders would have to resolve to secure a permanent peace deal.
This latest round of direct talks was relaunched at the start of September after a 20-month hiatus.
Israeli media reported that Netanyahu may fly to Washington early next week, with speculation that U.S. President Barack Obama may get involved to try to resolve the settlement impasse.
Netanyahu, whose coalition government is dominated by pro-settler parties, has said he would not extend the freeze but could limit the scope of building in some settlements.
Palestinians say the settlements, built on land they want for a state, would deny them a viable and contiguous country. The settlements are on territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and are deemed by the World Court to be illegal under international law.
Slideshow: Mideast clashes during peace talks (on this page)
The talks could also be derailed by continued violence. Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket and two mortar bombs into Israel on Wednesday, the Israeli army said.”
It is all about defining the boundary. Abbas must give and Netanyahu must give to define the boundary.
“Israel's previous government built or issued bids for some 9,000 homes for Israelis in Jerusalem and the West Bank, despite its promise to pursue a peace deal with the Palestinians, settlement monitors said Monday, summarizing Ehud Olmert's three years as prime minister.
The Israeli watchdog groups Peace Now and Ir Amim urged President Barack Obama to step in quickly and pressure Israel's new prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to halt further settlement expansion, particularly in the areas of Jerusalem the Palestinians want for their future capital.
"The more time the international community and the Obama administration will require to generate a political process, the more adamant they need to be to save Israel from itself, because we are losing the two-state solution," said Daniel Seidemann of Ir Amim, a group that promotes coexistence in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu supports continued construction in settlements, opposes a division of Jerusalem and has not accepted the notion of a Palestinian state. His positions could lead to growing friction with the international community, though he has said he is reviewing policy.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas insisted Monday that a settlement freeze is a prerequisite for resuming peace talks with Israel. Abbas' year of negotiations with Olmert ended inconclusively.
Abbas also rejected Israeli demands that Palestinians not only recognize the state of Israel — as Abbas and others have — but recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
"Name yourself, it's not my business," he said. "All I know is that there is the state of Israel, in the borders of 1967, not one centimeter more, not one centimeter less. Anything else, I don't accept."
Abbas' comments drew an angry response from Israel. "This is more evidence that the Palestinians are not interested in true peace with Israel," said Ofer Akunis, a lawmaker in Netanyahu's Likud Party.
Since capturing the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast War, Israel has built homes for about 470,000 Israelis there, including some 190,000 who moved to east Jerusalem.”
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Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel