Last Sunday, Israel guided by Bibi welcomed parts of an international plan for resuming the long-dormant peace talks with the Palestinians; however, much warranted caveats were issued.
Mediators from the Mideast Quartet – an organization made of the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia – put forth its plan late last month after the Palestinians bypassed negotiations and asked the United Nations to recognize a state of Palestine in the Gaza Strip, West Bank and east Jerusalem.
The Palestinians said they will not be resuming talks until Israel halts all settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. However with renewed building in towns to the east of the widely disputed “green line” and aUN statehood by Abbas that bombed, this will likely not be the case.
Meanwhile, Nigeria refuses to say how it will vote when the United Nations Security Council decides on the Palestinians’ bidfor UN membership.
“Nigeria appears to be a crucial vote as Palestinians try to secure support from at least nine of the 15 council members. The US has said it will veto the request. However, the US could avoid that if Palestinians fail to get those nine votes.”
The oil-rich Nigeria is under the strong influence of the United States, which is one of the country’s top buyers of crude oil pumped from its southern delta.
In other news, last Saturday Egypt said it was considering releasing Ilan Grapel, an American Israeli who has been incarcerated in Egypt since June 12.
Grapel was falsely charged by local authorities with spying for Mossad.
Cairo authorities are reportedly considering releasing the 27-year-old in exchange for “greater US political and financial support.”
So who will deliver Grapel back to the Promised Land?
It will be United States Defense Secretary Leon Panetta who is scheduled to arrive in Egypt and will “take Grapel back with him at the end of the visit.”
The same source that disclosed this information added that “what Grapel did during the revolution did not amount to spying and by this logic he can be released in exchange for financial benefits.”
“Grapel immigrated to Israel from the US and served as a lone soldier in the Paratroopers’ 101 Battalion. He enlisted in the IDF in March 2005 and was injured during the Second Lebanon War. He had been traveling in Egypt during the popular revolution and was reportedly intrigued by the ongoings. Arab media reports suggested he tried to spark a civil war between Egypt’s Muslims and Coptic Christians.”