Pentagon Expands Defenses in Persian Gulf; Abbas: Peace talks with Israel could be restarted if Israeli government was prepared to put stop to settlement building for "a certain period"
Abbas has insisted that settlement expansion be halted in the West Bank before negotiations stalled since 2008 may resume.
He had in the past rejected a limited, 10-month construction freeze ordered by Israel in November as insufficient.
"If Israel is prepared to stop settlement building for a certain period...talks could be restarted," Abbas said, speaking through an interpreter at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
He did not expand on how long the period would be, though in an interview with Monday's edition of British newspaper The Guardian, Abbas offered to begin direct talks with Israel in exchange for a complete three-month settlement freeze.
Abbas said Israel would need to accept its June 1967 borders as the basis for any land swaps.
"These are not preconditions, they are requirements in the road map. If they are not prepared to do that, it means they don't want a political solution," he told the newspaper. Reuters.com
Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas has put the ball back in Israel's court by saying he will return to the peace table if Israel will implement a three month building freeze in East Jerusalem.
Experts are saying this is nothing more than a ploy to place the label of being the uncooperative peace partner back on Israel. This now puts pressure squarely back on Israel to accept the seemly meager three month building freeze in East Jerusalem...and there's also a catch! The Israeli leadership has already placed a ten month construction freeze into the West Bank which has essentially sent a message to the international community that Israel has conceded that territory. It is feared that any such building freeze into East Jerusalem would open up a new precedent that the international community may not allow Israel to reverse. In short, if Israel is willing to suspend construction into these areas, for any length of time, they must believe that these areas are not legally theirs.
Muslims claim the Dome of the Rock which sits on the ruins of the Jerusalem Temple Mount is the third most holy site in Islam. The Bible predicted, in the last days (Ezekiel 35:5, 10; 36:2, 5), Israel's Islamic brothers would try to claim that the land of Israel was theirs. History has proven, before Israel's rebirth as a nation, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount were barely on the Islamic radar. It was only after Israel became a nation (1948) and recaptured all of Jerusalem (1967), including the Temple Mount, that the Dome of the Rock rose to its present significance in the Moslem world.
In other news, the US has sent more ships and missiles to the Middle East in response to Iran's growing nuclear threat. The US is anticipating a new round of sanctions against the Islamic Republic and is upgrading their allies in the region against a possible escalating Iranian threat. "The United States has expanded land- and sea-based missile defense systems in and around the Gulf to counter what it sees as Iran's growing missile threat, U.S. officials said. The deployments include expanded land-based Patriot defensive missile installations in Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Bahrain, as well as Navy ships with missile defense systems within striking distance in and around the Mediterranean". Reuters.com
Make sure you go to Debkafile and read the following article on a Hizballah plot against Israel that has recently been uncovered by US intelligence: EXCLUSIVE: US intelligence finds 5,000 Hizballah trained to seize Galilee towns. The detailed war plans included a coordinated attack by Hizbollah, Hamas, Syria, and Iran. Here is an excerpt:
Jones was not talking out of the top of his head, but on the strength of solid US intelligence gathered over months on detailed war plans Iran, Syria, Hizballah and Hamas have drawn up to send five Hizballah brigades sweeping across the border to seize five sectors of Galilee, while also organizing a massive Israeli-Arab uprising against the Jewish state.
Hamas would open a second
front in the south and in the east.
Although, the battle of Gog & Magog will include many more nations, these plans give us a glimpse into what Iran and their allies ultimately want to achieve.
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