Palestinians Ready To Negotiate-Partner Available?

During the past sixty years Israeli leaders have bemoaned the lack of responsible Palestinian leaders who are prepared to engage in honest negotiation about long term regional peace. Today, the Palestinian Authority has in Prime Minister Salam Fayyad such a person and one who wants an end to conflict and long term regional peace. The question today is does he have a partner interested in a dance for peace and reconciliation? Sayyad is among the few Arab leaders who is respected for honesty and effectiveness. He has worked cooperatively with Israel officials to restore law and order to the West Bank and any areas governed by Palestinians. However, he is frustrated at refusal of Israel security to turn over greater responsibility to Palestinians. “Does it matter to the Israeli people if Palestinian police operate in Palestinian population centers?” He went on to emphasize, “the occupation must end. Not only because the Palestinians want it, but because (the occupation) is eroding Israel as well.”

He welcomes the new agreement with Hamas since it opens the door to a united Palestinian settlement with Israel. Sayyad understands once there is a functioning Palestinian state which has close economic links with Israel the idea of war will end. Hamas leaders can mouth verbal missiles but Palestinians want peace, not war. It is in Israel’s interest to have Sayyad as prime minister of a united Palestinian authority. It is a step towards peace, NOT violence.

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