The Israeli’s and Palestinians are ready to resume peace talks according U.S. Secretary of state Hilary Clinton. She said Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, would meet in Washington on September 2 to “relaunch direct negotiations to resolve all final status issues which we believe can be completed within one year”.
The Obama administration did not confirm the date, stating the final technicalities are yet to be determined. The preliminary September 2 date might be off by a day or two. While the details are not open for public analysis, the one-year limit is crucial. The Palestinians are not sure if they are ready for a long-term agreement with Israel.
Mr. Netanyahu welcomed the talks saying, “Reaching an agreement is a difficult challenge but is possible. We are coming to the talks with a genuine desire to reach a peace agreement between the two peoples that will protect Israel’s national security interests, foremost of which is security.”
Apart from the Prime Minister of Israel and Palestinian President, some other notables are expected to partake in the talks. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will attend the White House.
Although it is considered a positive step, many remain skeptical. Abdul Rahman Zidan, a former minister in the Hamas government said, “Nothing positive will come out of these fruitless talks – we have tried this way several times. The Americans and the Israelis need talks – any talks – just for the feeling that there is a peace process. But for us, this is a negative, empty feeling because there is nothing on the table. It’s a merry-go-round,” he said.