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PEACE PLAN CALLS FOR DIVIDED JERUSALEM

Associated Press

TEL AVIV, Israel - Jerusalem divided by a series of fences, trenches and walls. The West Bank and Gaza linked by a sunken highway. Palestinians and Israelis trading land that would require 100,000 Jewish settlers to move.

These proposals are part of a 424-page blueprint for Mideast peace presented Tuesday - the most detailed description yet of what an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal could look like.

The plan was released as a new U.S. diplomatic effort was under way to restart peace talks and ahead of meetings next week at the annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Created by teams of Israeli and Palestinian experts and former negotiators, the blueprint is meant to show it's still possible to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel despite many setbacks, said those involved in the drafting.

"If you want to resolve the conflict, here is the recipe," said Gadi Baltiansky, a leader of the Israeli team.

The core of the plan is a Palestinian state in nearly 98 percent of the West Bank, all of the Gaza Strip and the Arab-populated areas of Jerusalem. By going into the tiniest details, it highlights the staggering challenges and expense of implementing any peace deal.

The blueprint was presented Tuesday by Yossi Beilin, a former Israeli peace negotiator, and by Baltiansky, who served as an aide to former Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

The Palestinian participants kept a low profile.

The most senior participant, Yasser Abed Rabbo, now a high-ranking aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, declined to comment and did not attend the plan's unveiling in Tel Aviv.

U.N. FINDS WAR CRIMES ON BOTH SIDES

Associated Press

A U.N. investigation concluded Tuesday that both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza have committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity, raising the prospect that officials may seek prosecution in the International Criminal Court.

The probe led by former South African Judge Richard Goldstone investigated Israel's military operations against Palestinian rocket squads in the Gaza Strip from Dec. 27, 2008, to Jan. 18.

The report said Israel's attacks in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, including the shelling of a house where soldiers had forced Palestinian civilians to assemble, amounted to war crimes. It found that seven incidents in which civilians were shot while leaving their homes trying to run for safety, waving white flags and sometimes even following Israeli instructions, as well as the targeting of a mosque at prayer time, killing 15 people, were also war crimes.

On the Palestinian side, the report found that armed groups firing rockets into southern Israel from Gaza failed to distinguish between military targets and the civilian population.

Israel, which refused to cooperate with the investigation, said the Human Rights Council was biased by its 47-nation constituency, over which Arab and developing nations hold sway.

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