Tony Blair presented a plan for resolving conflicts between Palestinians and Israelis that left Palestinians wondering if the former British prime minister was truly an objective third party. His proposal calls for increasing the effectiveness of the Palestinian government in combating Hamas and other Islamic militants. He argued without successful operations against Palestinian resistance movements in the West Bank, there is no hope of reaching a settlement in the conflict. Blair wants a strengthened judiciary which will try members of the resistance and ensure they are not released from jail until completion of their sentences. He wants more European police assistance to train Palestinian police in becoming effective. His plan would lclreate a thee person committee to oversee implementation of the recommendations including Israel’s Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak.
A main issue between israel and Palestinians is the return of refugees. Blair proposes building a new city on the West Bank which would include housing to repatriate those who had fled. Palestinians are upset at what is never discussed in the plan as much as what it contains. No mention is made of dealing with oppressive measures used by the Israel government towards Arab residents of the West Bank. For example, since the beginning of the year, 350 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli bullets while terrorist organizations have killed five Israelis.
According to human rights organizations, West Bank settlers have committed thousands of assaults on Palestinians just in this year. Settlers have obtained laws allowing them to dig deeper wells than Palestinians s well as obstruct free movement of people. The report speaks of “reform” of the Palestinian judiciary, but ignores changes in the Israel system of justice for Palestinians. The Blair Report indicates it was a mistake to allow Tony Blair, a close ally of George Bush, to serve in a mediating role between Israelis and Palestinians. There was desperate need of an individual who could be viewed by both parties for his/her impartiality.