Skip to comments.Palestinians reject US plan (Surprised?...from a bunch that rejects life)
Posted on 05/05/2007 2:17:18 PM PDT by Cornpone
Gaza - Palestinian leaders roundly rejected a US proposal on Saturday that aims to foster peace moves by setting a timetable of reciprocal security measures with Israel.
The Israeli government, beset by an internal crisis, had already poured cold water on Washington's plan for a "timeline" of "benchmark" steps that included Palestinian forces cracking down on rocket attacks and Israel easing travel restrictions.
In an atmosphere of profound mutual mistrust and fundamental weaknesses in the governments on either side, the future of the proposal seemed unclear. Leaders of the ruling Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas ruled out any further discussion of it.
"The American plan is rejected and we will work to make it fail by any means," said Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Baroum.
A senior aide to President Mahmoud Abbas, of the rival Fatah party, also dismissed as unworkable the draft plan presented to Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last week.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal told a rally in Damascus on Friday: "I officially declare Hamas's rejection of this document or any American, European, Israeli or even Arab project that diminishes the Palestinian cause like this ... It is a formula of lifting the roadblocks in return for halting the resistance."
The US State Department said it was proposing only "flexible" and "informal benchmarks" without "fixed deadlines".
A pro-Hamas website quoted Meshaal as saying: "We must keep our fingers on the trigger and prepare for battle."
One of six missiles fired from the Gaza Strip since late on Friday damaged an Israeli house. Islamic Jihad, which has not joined a six-month-old Hamas ceasefire, claimed responsibility.
From Fatah, whose rivalry with Hamas has spilled over into bloodshed since the Islamists won last year's parliamentary election, Abbas aide Yasser Abed Rabbo complained the US plan did not put enough onus on Israel to address Palestinian demands to end economic sanctions and revive talks on statehood.
"This plan cannot be implemented because Israel is not willing to change its position and put an end to the siege," he said. "This plan made no mention of political issues and we don't consider this plan or any other suggestion to be an alternative to political negotiations to end the occupation."
Palestinians want an end to sanctions, over Hamas's refusal to renounce violence, that have crippled the economy.
For its part, Israel says the US plan did not seem to go far enough to guarantee an improvement in its security in return for easing movement controls on Palestinians and their goods.
An official on Olmert's staff told Reuters on Friday: "Some of the ideas Israel is already implementing, others are already well advanced and there are some that Israel will not be able to address in the present because of security concerns."
Washington has been keen to press measures to lower tensions as it seeks to foster relations with Arab allies dismayed by the turmoil in US-occupied Iraq. The Arab League, worried by the rise of non-Arab Iran, has revived a peace proposal to Israel.
However, both sides in the conflict face major difficulties.
Hamas is suspicious of US efforts to bolster security forces run by Abbas that under the proposed timeline would crack down on arms smuggling and rocket crews in Gaza next month.
The president was due to meet Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas on Sunday for talks on security, Haniyeh aides said.
Why, oh why do we continue to bother with these worthless people...?
Why do we waste out time and efforts with these subhumans?
sigh..and we keep sending them millions of dollars
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