A Palestinian source said Saturday that the US's special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, promised to provide Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with guarantees that Israel would rescind its plan to construct new housing units in east Jerusalem.At the same time Secretary of State Clinton is busy saying that Israeli moves to announcing the construction of housing was insulting.
The official told the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi that Mitchell made the promise because Abbas refused to accept Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's apology for declaring the approval of 1,600 new units during US Vice President Joe Biden's visit to the region.
Abbas demanded guarantees after Mitchell pressed him to accept the apology as a withdrawal of the construction plan.
According to the source, Mitchell vowed that Israel would halt settlement construction during indirect negotiations with the Palestinians.
He said the special envoy was likely to present the guarantee during his visit to the region next week, in which he is also expected to announce the launching of indirect negotiations between Jerusalem and Ramallah.
It's all so much nonsense when anyone with a functioning neuron would note that Israel has evacuated housing and communities twice in the name of peace - in Sinai as part of the 1979 Camp David Accords, and then unilaterally in 2005 when Israel left Gaza.
Has no one in the diplomatic corps ever bought or sold real property? Apparently not from the way that the diplomats are howling over Israel's plans to build more housing, even as it would mean new and improved infrastructure should those communities be deemed for transfer to the Palestinians as part of a final status negotiation.
Housing isn't the impediment to peace; terrorist groups that are the representatives of the Palestinian people are. Hamas and Fatah have no interest in ending their war against Israel. Neither group is willing to change their founding charters to eliminate their calls to annihilate Israel. Neither is willing to stop the incitement to violence that is a regular occurrence in mosques on Fridays (and which directly leads to violent encounters such as those outside the al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem the past several Fridays).
Secretary of State Clinton and other US officials keep talking about confidence building measures and how Israel needs to take actions such as stopping construction projects for housing without noting that there are no measures being demanded of the Palestinians.
Where are the calls for the release of Gilad Shalit from the clutches of Hamas in Gaza? Where are the calls to demand that incitement to violence in mosques be put to an end (even though those calls to incitement were to be ended under Oslo 17 years ago)?
Once again, the US and the rest of the world is content to pressure Israel to stop actions that they think provokes Palestinians to violence, all while ignoring that the Palestinians are provoked merely by Israel's existence. That's the anathema to Palestinians and they aren't going to stop their violence and jihad until Israel ceases to exist - peace process or not.