- Netanyahu: I call on President Abbas to continue talks
- Notable increase in attacks against Israelis; pregnant woman shot
- TV networks see settlers’ building as “publicity stunt”
Jerusalem, Sept. 27 – There can still be an “historic peace framework agreement within one year,” despite the end of the self-declared construction freeze in the West Bank, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Sunday (Sept. 26).
Netanyahu urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas not to walk out on the talks that began just three weeks ago pledging that he is serious in his commitment to peace.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell and U.S. Secretary Hillary Clinton meeting on September 2, 2010. (State Deparment Photo by Michael Gross.)
“Many in the world realized that my intentions to achieve peace are serious and genuine, and that I honor my commitments,” he said.
Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak extended his trip to the United States last week in order to continue discussions with American and other officials to try to find a formula that would allow the talks to continue. Israeli President Shimon Peres has also been using his international recognition as a peacemaker to ensure the negotiations stay on track.
Netanyahu has spoken in the last few days with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah of Jordan in a bid to safeguard the peace process.
This diplomatic activity has been taking place amid a backdrop of increased attacks against Israeli civilians.
Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank shot a pregnant woman and her husband on Sept. 26. As a result the woman was taken into emergency surgery where the baby was successfully delivered.
“I’m delighted to say he was induced by a most unexpected source,” new father Sharon Shoker quipped when speaking with the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot.
Other incidents included Molotov cocktails being hurled at a Jerusalem home and towards security officers just outside Jerusalem’s Old City.
Israeli soldiers seized an AR-15 assault rifle, three handguns, an improvised rifle and ammunition in the early hours of Sept. 27. Five Palestinians were arrested during the raid.
The West Bank is at the center of media attention this week, with dozens of cameras focusing on any signs of settlers building new homes or nursery schools. The journalists themselves have said that what is currently transpiring is little more than theater produced specifically for their consumption.
CNN described a concrete-pouring ceremony on Sept. 26 as “a show,” while it was dubbed “a publicity stunt” by Al-Jazeera.