The announcement of President Obama's forthcoming visit to Israel and the Palestine Authority in March presents an opportunity to review the status of the Peace Process between Israel and the P.A. Right now the peace process is in a state of repose. Both sides say they seek renewal of negotiations, but only Israel has offered to negotiate face to face on all issues without preconditions.
Ile-de-France, the district of France that includes Paris, has signed a cooperation agreement with east Jerusalem, the city’s Palestinian district.
The agreement between Ile-de-France and the Palestinian Authority, which was approved on Sept. 28 and which will be signed this month, will send 300,000 euros for educational and social welfare programs to east Jerusalem, according to the Times of Israel.
The agreement undercuts Israel’s claim to east Jerusalem, which Israel considers part of its united capital.
The shallowness of mainstream media was evidenced last week in its reporting on the major addresses to the United Nations General Assembly by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Palestinian Authority is facing its “worst financial crisis” yet, according to a PA official, because of a foreign aid shortfall and the rejection of a $100 million loan by the International Monetary Fund.
Unless the PA finds a way to close its budget gap, PA Labor Minister Ahmed Majdalani said, the delay in aid from Arab donor nations will render the PA unable to pay its employees’ July salaries and its debts to private businesses, according to the French news agency AFP.
In a letter to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, two congressmen said a medal awarded to veteran journalist Helen Thomas could hurt U.S. assistance to the PA.
Reps. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), the chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) in their April 6 letter noted that the Foreign Affairs Committee passed legislation last year setting conditions on U.S. assistance to the PA, and that recognition of someone like Helen Thomas goes against those conditions.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel remains on alert against an attack from Sinai despite killing the terrorist leader that was planning an attack from there -- an assassination that has led to a barrage of rockets raining down on southern Israel from Gaza by terrorist groups.
Israel released withheld tax money to the Palestinian Authority after Germany said it was a condition for purchasing a submarine, a German newspaper is reporting.
Germany told Israel it would not complete the sale of a sixth Dolphin submarine to Israel unless it made the concession, Germany’s Welt am Sonntag reported Sunday. The sale was approved on Nov. 30, the same day Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would release the $100 million in tax revenue collected by Israel for the PA.