According to a senior official close to the White House, Israel’s continued “settlement” building is primarily to blame for the collapse of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Another senior official told The New York Times Thursday that those sentiments directly reflect President Obama’s position on the issue.
“The critical remarks faithfully reflect the president’s own views,” paraphrased the Times.
The official was disgusted that the Israelis continued to have the audacity to build apartment buildings on the disputed territory in the West Bank of the Jordan river. “At every juncture [in the peace talks], there was a settlement announcement,” he said.
Although the West Bank is 80% Palestinian, it appears the minority of Israeli Jews living in the area, according to the Obama administration, have no rights to build on the land.
The unnamed senior official, who most believe to be former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, said the settlement issue was the nail in the coffin which resulted in the collapse of negotiations: “It was the thing that kept throwing the wrench in the gears.”
Another Obama administration official was quoted as saying:
There are a lot of reasons for the peace effort’s failure, but people in Israel shouldn’t ignore the bitter truth: the primary sabotage came from the settlements. The Palestinians don’t believe that Israel really intends to let them found a state when, at the same time, it is building settlements on the territory meant for that state. We’re talking about the announcement of 14,000 housing units, no less. Only now, after talks blew up, did we learn that this is also about expropriating land on a large scale. That does not reconcile with the agreement.
It appears the reunification of Fatah and the US-designated terrorist group Hamas did not meet the threshold of “throwing the wrench in the gears” or become the “primary sabotage” of the peace talks.
Shortly after reunification, the unity PLO government along with thousands of Palestinian citizens paraded around the remains of a suicide-bomber responsible for killing fifteen innocent people at a Sbarro in Jerusalem.
On Tuesday, an official Palestinian government Facebook page threatened Israelis that they must leave the entirety of Israel immediately. The picture of Israel posted on the PLO facebook page was accompanied by a photo of an automatic rifle.
Following Jordan’s retreat from the area, Israel captured the West Bank territory, defending itself from aggression in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.