Mini-briefing on the peace talks

US State Secretary John Kerry was in Jerusalem and Ramallah again last week for his tenth visit trying to re-energise the talks, but it is fast becoming clear that progress is severely hampered by the continuing expansion of settlements.

A breakthrough is always possible, and would be most welcome, but one has to be very optimistic to believe there could be a settlement by the end of the nine months in April.

Last week Netanyahu released the third group of Palestinian prisoners, all of whom have already served more than 22 years, but he “balanced” the release by announced yet more new settlements in the West Bank.

The Palestinians revoked their claim on 78% of historic Palestine in 1988 in the belief that all the remaining 22% would become a Palestinian state and all their prisoners would be released. They have made their historic compromise. They should not be asked for more.


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