It is now nearly a half century since Israel troops swept into the West Bank during the Six Day war of the 1960s. The assumption of the Israel government and Arab nations is that at some point in the near future, the status of the West Bank would be resolved. However, first years, then decades past of inaction on the part of the world, but plenty of action on the part of Israel governments. Now, over 300,000 Israelis live in the area and new buildings continually go up. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Palestinian leaders only to be met with a determination on their part of refusing to accept any further Israel house construction in the West Bank. Clinton urged President Abbas to allow Israel to complete building in progress and was met with a resounding, “no.”
Palestinians can not allow further West Bank construction to proceed without, in a sense, surrendering that area to the state of Israel. It is up to Israel to take the first step toward peace in the Middle East by ending all present and future construction. Abbas put in bluntly: “peace must have its commitments-(that) being the complete halt to settlement building.” Israel leaders can claim to seek peace, but until they deal with the west bank settlement issue, there can be no peace in the Middle East. The ball is in the court of Israel.