Arab Peace Initiative: Blow for Israel’s Interests

Arab Peace Initiative: Blow for Israel’s Interests

Azerbaijan, Baku, 24 October /corr. Trend U.Sadikova, A.Gut / Official Jerusalem will not use in practice the so-called Arab plan to sign reconciliation, since this will jeopardize the security of Israel.

During the meeting with the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, on Thursday, the President of Israel, Shimon Peres, stated the consent of his country to accept the so-called Arab peace initiative, Aljazeera television reported.

This initiative, which was made already in March 2002 in Beirut by Saudi King Abdullah, envisages returning Israel to the borders of 1967 in exchange of normalization of relations with the Arab countries.

"If Israel recognizes this document, then it will throw down itself into a new political crisis, but already international. Otherwise, Jerusalem will give up the strategically important territories," Neil Quilliam, British expert on the Middle Eastern security, told Trend .   

In September Israel survived internal political crisis that led to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's resignation. He was accused of obtaining significant amount from the American businessman Maurice Talanski, and also overstepping his authorities. Currently Tzipi Livni was elected the new Prime Minister of Israel, but the government has not been formed.

Therefore, now it is risky for Israel to sign agreements affecting the borders of the country, Quilliam, analyst of British Cotton Centre Control Risk, said.

Arab initiative can become enormous plus in the re-establishment of relations with the Arab neighbors after 50 years hostility. During the war in 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank of Jordan River and Gaza Strip in Palestine, and Golan Heights in Syria.

"The most important in this document is the first item of the document on reconciliation with the Palestinians, who wait that day when will again obtain the West Bank and Gaza Strip," said Quilliam.

However, the reason for Peres's statement on consent to accept this document after six years is that Israel wants to draw the attention of the international community to the Palestinian-Israeli dialogue, the British expert said. He considers that in the recent months, because of other global problems like events in Caucasus and financial crisis, the dialogue is less discussed at the international level.

Therefore, the experts consider that the words of the Israeli President to accept Arab initiative will not be realized in practice.

This agreement in the present format has many negative sides for Israel, Israeli analyst Mordechai Kedar said.

According to the resolution 194 of the UN Security Council, besides the restoration of borders, the Arab initiative envisage returning more than four million Palestinian refugees residing mainly in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

"This will become the end of today's Israel because if we these refugees return, then the Jews will cease to prevail in the region as ethnos," Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, told Trend . 

The economic welfare of Israel also is under the risk. If Palestinian refugees return to the native land, then it will be necessary for official Jerusalem to pay enormous compensation to them.  

According to one of the items of the special resolution 319 (IV) of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the aggressor country is obligated to pay off compensation to the refugees of the victim side, in the case of the cessation of occupation and returning of refugees to the native land.

Therefore, Kedar considers that Israel will not sacrifice its security on the borders and also economic situation in exchange of relations with the Arab countries and reconciliation with the Palestinians.

Saudi initiative can be approved by Israel, but it will be accepted only if the item on returning of refugees is removed from it, and the process of negotiations and territorial concessions is coordinated. I.e., Israel will obtain equal international rights with the Palestinians for the West Bank, and will be able to agree with Lebanon and Syria with regards to the near-border regions.

Israel's accepting this resolution is already positive moment for the Palestinians, since this will create a new ground for the dialogue.

However, the Palestinian analyst Adel Atey said that this is the next political maneuver of Israel.

"One of the special peculiarities of the foreign policy of Israel is that they make high-sounding statements regarding the desire to conclude peace with the Arabs, but further words and persuasions of the matter do not come into existence," Atey, Deputy Head of the Palestinian delegation to the European Union, told Trend by telephone from Brussels. 

The main requirements of the Palestinian side in the reconciliation with Israel are cessation bringing the Jews to the West Bank and remove more than 600 block posts.  

"Israel ignores these points as if this does not exit," said Atey.

In the case of Israel's fulfillment of these items, the security problems in the region would be resolved, and the problem of the determination of borders with Palestine, Syria and Lebanon would also be solved.

Atey said that actually withdrawal of the Israeli soldiers from these borders will create independent Palestinian state, but Israel will never do this, and therefore it is not worthwhile to expect progress in the process of reconciliation.

The war between Palestine and Israel began in 1948 after declaration of independent State of Israel in the Palestinian territories. However, conflict took the widest dimensions in the war of 1967, when Israel took control over Jerusalem. After the second intifada (uprising of the inhabitants of West Bank) in 2000, Palestinian and Israeli sides developed "road map" with the support of Middle Eastern quartet (Russia, United Nations, the European Union, the USA). Basic purpose of this project is to create two states, Israel and Palestine, on one land with the common capital Jerusalem.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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