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Israel and the Gaza strip


john bunyan

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This seems an intractable problem. The Israelis will not allow ships etc to go to Gaza as they fear smuggling of arms and rockets. Hamas responds by smuggling through tunnels from Egypt.The whole Palestinian embryo State has been seeking statehood for years but even they cannot show a united front. The Israelis continue to build in disputed land. Iran stirs it up in the background. The Israeli response to rocket attacks is disproportionate. The whole thing could get out of hand. Talks seem a waste of time as each side loathes the other. How depressing; there seems little hope for peace in our time.

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Forum Editor

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Flak999

"Will this issue still be being discussed in 68 years time?"

A lasting Middle East peace treaty is the glittering prize that awaits anyone strong enough and clever enough to steer negotiations between these two protagonists. That both sides would dearly love to love in peace is beyond question; that they can do so without some territorial concessions being made by Israel is in serious doubt.

At its core this is a plain old fashioned land dispute - Palestine wants more, and Israel wants no less. You only have to look at the map to see that Israel has the lion's share of the West bank. Israelis would dearly like to force Palestinians into two small designated areas in this territory, but there's no way that the Palestinians will ever allow this to happen. It's a ready-made, permanently ticking bomb, and it's what fuels the ongoing atmosphere of hatred and mistrust.

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Flak999

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Ceasefire from 1900 GMT

Israel and Hamas call ceasefire

How long do we give it?

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morddwyd

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It is now 7.41.

I have not seen any recent news but I give it until 8.00pm max.

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Forum Editor

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All previous cease-fire agreements have failed, and it doesn't take an Einstein to work out that this one will fail too, unless there are signs of major concessions from both sides. The problem is a classic one - the state of conflict has been running so long now that everyone wonders what can possibly happen to make this time the last time.

I would like to think that Israel could say to Hamas 'OK, let's both agree that we need to give and take, and invite an international negotiating team to act as mediators. Perhaps now is the time to be bold and change the course of history'.

That's what I would like to think, but the realist in me says it's never going to happen in a month of Sundays. The hatred on both sides is too deeply entrenched.

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michaelw

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"There will be mediation and diplomacy aplenty, and at some point there will be an uneasy cease-fire. Perhaps it will hold, perhaps it will not. Eventually however, there will be another confrontation, and the whole sorry cycle will be repeated, or so history tells us."

There will never be a resolution because of many reasons, but one important issue is to do with bias. Past mediators like Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright are/were Jewish. Now, I'm not taking sides even though the Palestinians had their land taken away from them but I would hazard a guess that if more successful negotiations were to take place a non-Jewish mediator should take the helm otherwise it could be likened to holding up a red rag to a bull.

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kad60

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the hatred on both sides is too entrenched,

therein lies the crux of the matter,this 'dispute' has gone well beyond being an issue of land.The Israeli version of 'Lebensraum' and denial of the Palestinian displaced persons 'right to return' as well as racial and especially religious differences,the Jihadists will never 'let go' it is one of their 'raisons d' ètre', will always act as a brake on finding a long term solution.

The surrounding countries are using the Palestinian problem to promote their own interests to the detriment of the Palestinian people,their own animosities used to support one proxy or other in this vipers nest.

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Forum Editor

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michaelw

It's fair to point out that non-Jewish people have attempted to mediate between Palestine and Israel - notably Bill Clinton, who hosted the famous Camp David Summit in July 2000.

The official position as stated by the Israeli government is, and has been, that it recognises concessions of land by Israel are crucial to a successful settlement. Israel wants an end to the rocket attacks that are a familiar feature of the ongoing hostility between the two states.

Palestine has officially recognised the State of Israel, so that at least might be a starting point - the understanding by both parties that land would be ceded by Israel in exchange for an agreement by Palestine that all hostilities would cease permanently.

At Camp David Israel formally proposed such a solution - offering 92% of the West Bank and the entire Gaza Strip,as well as a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. Palestine, in the person of Yasser Arafat, rejected the offer, and Bill Clinton invited Arafat to make a counter-proposal. Arafat failed to do so, and the talks foundered. Bill Clinton placed the blame squarely on Arafat.

Despite several attempts there has been no concrete progress since then. What has happened is that both sides have developed an increased sense of mistrust, and that is going to be a real obstacle to any future negotiating process.

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spuds

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And that is were the problem mainly lies. Its not the majority of the public, but the leaders who are causing most of the problems due to the power and self importance factors involved.

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john bunyan

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Tried to green tick FE's post of 11.56AM and indeed Flal999's post of 2.11PM yesterday. Depressingly although the current cease- fire is welcome the main issues remain unresolved.

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