For those without a press pass or the time and patience to filter through every tidbit of information available to the public concerning the Middle East tango – you’ll at least want to follow the upcoming peace talks between Palestinian, Israeli and American politicians and think-tanks with a bit of a recent background scoop.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad recently released this statement:
“I think this is a most fundamental question and I believe, without wishing to really prejudge what will happen in the next few days, the next few weeks, we are approaching that moment of reckoning…Some questions really need to be answered…There is not really a whole lot of time to waste…”
The Palestinian Plea:
A state in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank with East Jerusalem as the capital.
A poll was recently taken by the French press about the Palestinian population’s general consensus on the matter.
Here is what they came up with:
91% of Arabs in the Palestinian homeland – that is from the Jordan to the Mediterranean – believe that an official Palestinian state is “essential” or “desirable.”
94% of Palestinians in Jerusalem, (both east and west) believe that the city should belong to a Palestinian state.
86% of Palestinians are in support of the use of violence to the creation of a state. (“the use of violence is essential for 36.7% of respondents; desirable for 18.7%, 16.8% acceptable, tolerable for 14.0%”). On the other hand, according to deduction, 13.7% of Palestinians are opposed to violence.
Here is what Israel has done recently to concede with Palestinian demands and the demands of those behind the Palestinian cause:
In the West Bank…
Since the beginning of 2010, sixty roadblocks have been removed, leaving sixteen checkpoints remaining open.
Road number 443 has opened for Palestinian traffic.
There has been a 50% increase since 2009 of permits issued to enter Israel.
In the beginning half of 2010, there has been a 15% increase for Palestinian patients receiving medical treatment in Israeli hospitals. 82,058 of these permits were issued and 14,675 of which were issued for children.
There has been an 11% increase of the number of trade permits issued for entry to Israel. In the beginning half of 2010, 22,910 trade permits were issued, in comparison to 20,503 trade permits which were issued in the first half of 2009; and 500 additional permits were issued to merchants to enter Israel.
There’s been a 78% increase in vehicle imports to the West Bank in the first half of 2010 in contrast to the first half of 2009.
There was a 2.7% increase in the al-Quds stock market index for the first half of 2010, and this while unemployment decreased by 3% in the first quarter of the year.
3,000 housing units were built for a brand new Ramallah district city.
6 Palestinian Security Forces battalions and 150 civil defense personnel were coordinated for special training in Jordan.
There have also been regular joint meetings between heads of the Palestinian Security Forces and the IDF Central Command. In addition to this, there have been joint Israeli and Palestinian police and firefighters’ meetings.
According to the official IDF spokesman Twitter feed:
“In 1967, 80% of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria not connected to water network. Today, 90% connected to water grid.”
According to the official IDF blog, in Hamas controlled Gaza:
“During the week of 22nd – 26th August 2010, a total of 1,074 truckloads (24,288 tons) of humanitarian aid and development assistance for the local civilian population and 1,697,598 liters of diesel fuel entered the Gaza Strip.”
“Between June and August, the capacity of the Kerem Shalom Crossing was expanded by 210%, facilitating the daily entry of up to 250 truckloads of goods for humanitarian and development projects throughout the Gaza Strip.”
For a chart of Arab Public Opinion of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, click this