Israel is preparing to build 2,500 homes in its communites in Judea and Samaria. It also plans a new Palestinian industrial park near Hebron, the ancient capital of King David and burial site of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekkah, Jacob and Leah. The PLO, under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas, is apoplectic, calling the collective move a "war crime."
With some of its harsher statements softened, the final declaration of the Paris Middle East Peace conference, released yesterday, is substantially the same as the leaked pre-conference draft. For the record, this is the full official text of the final declaration from Paris on 15 January 2017
Three days ago, while Abbas was on his way to Rome and world leaders were making their way to Paris, the Secretary-General of the PA was in Russia. While there, he confirmed that Abbas is "ready" for face-to-face negotiations — in Moscow. Russia's government-owned news agency, TASS, reports.
This weekend, while France attempted to rally the world to impose on Israel its solution for peace with Palestinians, the Palestinian president met with the pope in Rome. Abbas, named by the pope in 2015 as an "angel of peace," also opened a new Palestinian embassy to the Vatican. Are the events in Rome a greater threat to Israel's sovereignty than Paris?
Contrary to the world's assertion that Israel is responsible for failure of the two-state solution, Khaled Abu Toameh reports that the reality inside the Palestinian territories is a no-state solution. Abbas's own party is split in half, defecting to Hamas, and most Palestinians want him to go. As a result, there is no functional government to lead an independent Palestinian state.