Talks between the United States and Israel over the possibility of a second ban on construction for Jews living east of the 1949 armistice line have failed. On Tuesday night, politicians from both countries will publicly admit that the freeze deal will not work, according to Channel 2 news.
Israel banned Jews in Judea, Samaria and much of Jerusalem from building any new structures, or additions to existing homes, for 10 months in an attempt to bring the Palestinian Authority to the negotiating table.
PA leaders ignored the gesture for several months, then began talks as the construction freeze drew to a close – and demanded that the freeze continue. When construction resumed – solely within the city limits of existing Israeli towns - they left talks and have not returned.
While freeze talks continued between Israel and the U.S., the PA found itself off the hook, with little pressure to return to the negotiating table. Israeli journalist Uri Elitzur had previous suggested that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas had planned all along for talks to break down, and was hoping not for a negotiated settlement, but rather, for international agreement on the borders of a PA state.
Hizbullah Lebanon takeover could follow Hariri tribunal
Military Intelligence on Tuesday expressed fears that a Hizbullah takeover of the Lebanese government could follow the release of a UN tribunal's findings on the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. It has long been rumored that certain members of Hizbullah could be implicated for the 2005 murder.
In a recent intelligence assessment, Yossi Baidatz, head of Military Intelligence’s Research Division, told the FADC that Hizbullah is capable of taking control of key aspects of Lebanon's government within a matter of a few hours.
“The radicals are gaining strength in Lebanon,” Ashkenazi told Natynczyk, according to an officer accompanying the chief of General Staff on his trip to North America. “The publication of the report could destabilize Lebanon and be used as an excuse by Hizbullah to complete its takeover over the entire country.”
More about the possibility of Hezbollah taking over Lebanon:
IDF: Hezbollah to take over Lebanon, dozens will die
The tensions in Lebanon are growing as the release of recommendations by the international tribunal tasked with probing the Hariri murder nears.
Hezbollah has already made it clear that indications that it was involved in the murder would not go unanswered, leading Military Intelligence officials to express concerns on Tuesday that the group might seize control of Lebanese government institutions.
Adler presented a possible scenario of Lebanon the day after the report was published: "Dozens will be killed when Hezbollah uses force and takes over government institutions. In this case, there is a chance that the tensions would trickle in Israel's direction.
This entire scenario seems to rest on the release of this report on the Hariri murder investigation - and the expected charges, but it is difficult to get information on when this report will be released. It is obviously imminent but the exact date seems unknown.
This is worth watching closely, because violence could erupt immediately, as most reports have warned. And where that could lead is anyone's guess.
PLO: US failed, we'll turn to UN
The American effort to revive direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians has failed "and we must turn to the broader framework of the international community," Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee Yasser Abed Rabbo said Wednesday.
The senior PLO official, whose stand represents the official Palestinian leadership, said the US failure proved that the exclusive American efforts had been utilized to the fullest and that "we must turn to the broader framework of the international community" – referring to the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.
This whole "process" is on the verge of becoming even more interesting. If this is taken up by the Security Council, and a final decision is rendered there, then "security forces" such as those recently formed by the EU would absolutely be required in order to "confirm" this covenant.
This is getting very interesting indeed.