Israel Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, claimed during his meeting with the French President, Jacques Chirac, in France, that he will be seeking a peace deal with the Palestinians based on the two-states solution, but added that it is unlikely that Israel will hold talks with the Hamas-led government because it rejects to renounce violence and to recognize Israel.
During the meeting, Olmert said that he will go ahead with his convergence plan whether Israel reaches a deal with the Palestinians or not, but claimed that he will seeks to reach an agreement with the Palestinians on the basis on the two-state solution.
Olmert added that he will push ahead with his contentious plan to redraw Israel’s borders with the Palestinians, unilaterally if necessary, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.
Yet, Olmert insisted that he would never cede Israeli sovereignty over the Al Aqsa Mosque, revered as a holy site by Muslims, and known to the Jews as the Temple Mount.
Olmert’s aides have said previously that his withdrawal plan would include some mainly Arab areas of east Jerusalem, Haaretz added.
The French President, Chirac, has called for the renewal of negotiations, but made no mention of Olmert’s convergence plan to unilaterally redraw Israel’s borders with the Palestinians, by retaining large settlement blocs in the West Bank.
Chirac stressed on the importance of the restoration of peace to the Middle East, with “Israelis and Palestinians living in two states side by side and in security”.
He added that the Middle-East conflict had gone on too long, adding that the time had come to reach “a lasting settlement” that would enable both sides to coexist peacefully, and be suitable for the Palestinians and Israelis.
Also, Olmert said that he does not believe that there will be a humanitarian disaster in the Palestinian territories as a result of the harsh economic siege imposed by Israel on the occupied territories. Palestinian employees have not being receiving salaries since four months.
Many Israelis have less trust in the Europeans as mediators in the Middle easy Conflict. In 2004, the then Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon called on the French Jews to leave France and come to live in Israel to escape what he described as “the most violent wave of antisemitism”.
Livni: “Only a Palestinian State would solve the refugees’ cause”
Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, said on Wednesday that the issue of the Palestinian refugees can only be solved by establishing a Palestinian State.
“The two-state solution means an establishment of two states, each providing a solution for its own people”, Livni stated in a meeting with Sergei Yakovlev, Russia’s envoy in the Middle East, Israeli Ynetnews reported.
"The international community must make clear to the Palestinians that the refugees issue can only be solved in the framework of an independent Palestinian state," Livni stated.
Palestinian medics hold nonviolent demonstration in Gaza after Israeli forces kill 4 yesterday
Palestine News Network
Wednesday, Health care workers demonstrated in the Gaza Strip against Israeli forces’ systematic attacks against them. Israeli forces routinely contravene the Fourth Geneva Convention by preventing ambulances from reaching the injured, to pass checkpoints, by shooting and arresting ambulance drivers and medics, and by imposing restrictions on movement that prevent delivery of medical equipment.
Wednesday’s nonviolent demonstration walked from the center of Gaza City on Salah Ed Deen Street where Tuesday’s killings began. The Ministry of Health chose this spot out of respect for the families of the 11 Palestinians Israeli soldiers killed.
Banners called to protect the Palestinian people and medical crews from repeated Israeli attacks designed to disrupt the transfer of the wounded to inflict maximum casualties among Palestinian civilians.
The General Director of Ambulance and Emergency in the Ministry of Health said, “Crews, ambulances and emergency workers suffered yesterday the worst attack launched by the occupation forces as Israeli aircraft reconnaissance deliberately fired a missile towards Palestinian ambulance crews while performing their duty, killing four.”
He added, “The Ministry of Health and ambulance crews deplore all forms of the targeting and killing perpetrated by Israel against our people. This march affirms the unity and cohesion of the people around the Palestinian government. We hold the Israeli occupation fully responsible for the repeated crimes against our people.”
It is well documented that Israeli forces continue their repeated attacks against Palestinian medical crews while performing humanitarian work in ambulances and while transferring injured and killed Palestinians. Although today’s demonstration was in Gaza, medics in the northern West Bank city of Nablus are routinely attacked, stripped naked, shot, and arrested.
During the Gaza demonstration the Palestinian Ministry of Health called on the international community to support international law in stopping such Israeli crimes against humanity.