Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Peace talks 'doomed': Palestinian analysts

31 July 2013, 16:42

Jerusalem - Middle East peace talks, which resumed in Washington after a three-year break are doomed to fail, Palestinian analysts said on Wednesday, after negotiators set a nine-month target for an agreement.

Despite Israel announcing the release of 104 prisoners as a confidence-building measure, analysts said that ordinary Palestinians would take little interest in the talks, which they would regard as a sop to Washington.

"The talks are doomed to failure. There's no chance for success," Palestinian political analyst Abdel Majid Sweilam.

"These talks are to make the United States happy, because the US still sees the Palestinian issue as a key to solving the problems in the Middle East," he said.

"The US knows its strategy in the region has failed with the recent changes [in Arab countries] and it wants to force the Israelis and Palestinians to the table, not because talks will succeed but because it needs them to happen," he said.

Israel's release of 104 inmates imprisoned before the 1993 Oslo accords, agreed by the government on Sunday, would fail to appease the Palestinian public or convince them talks are serious this time, Sweilam said.

No interest in big issues

"The Palestinian public is not convinced by a return to talks the basis of which is unclear. They won't be appeased by a release of prisoners - no matter how sensitive that issue is - for half-hearted commitments to talks."

Fellow Palestinian analyst Hani Habib agreed.

"The Palestinian street isn't interested in, and doesn't think it's affected by, what happens in the peace process," he said.

"The average Palestinian citizen has grown accustomed to years of there being no talks, and is more interested in their own wellbeing. The only elements of Palestinian society interested in the big [peace] issues are the politicians and the media.

"Releasing the prisoners was, in the eyes of the public, something that should have happened after the Oslo accords anyway, so it shouldn't be seen as a special favour for a return to talks," Habib said.

Political analyst Samir Awad too said the prisoner release would be taken for granted by Palestinians.

Not enough at stake

"The freeing of prisoners is a goodwill gesture by an Israel under pressure from the United States. But it's not enough, and doesn't mean negotiations will succeed," Awad said.

"The prisoners should have been released after Oslo. Their release won't be enough for the Palestinian people, even though the day it happens will be a big occasion.

"The Palestinian people don't feel they're part of the peace process. The decision to return to talks was communicated by the media first, not by Palestinian officials," Awad added.

Sweilam said there was not enough at stake politically to push Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to make progress in the talks.

"Abbas's popularity is in no way linked to the return to talks, and he won't lose the people's confidence because of entering [failed] negotiations."

Sweilam said that Abbas's main goal would be to ensure Israel took the blame for the failure of the talks and he said that should be achievable given the fierce opposition to any deal from within Israel's right-leaning governing coalition.

Sticking point

"Israel isn't ready. The government itself is split over the issue" with some openly opposing the creation of a Palestinian state, he said.

And the analysts said the issue of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, which triggered the breakdown of the last round of talks in September 2010, would prove even more of a sticking point this time with hardline pro-settler ministers inside the Israeli government.

"Israel can't stand up to the extremist settler lobby. How could it evict half a million Jewish settlers? It's doomed to failure.

"But it's important for Israel to reach the stage where it faces off with the settlers. At that point, the failure of the talks will be its responsibility," Awad said.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...