The United Stats may legally cut its international aid to Israel in two years if peace talks fail with Palestine. George Mitchell, the U.S. special envoy to Middle East threatened sanctions against Israel if it fails to succeed in making peace with Palestine. These rhetoric came on the eve of Mitchel’s trip to the region.According to Ynet, Mitchell unveiled this position to PBS’s Charlie Rose on January 6. He said the peace talks should not last more than two years. This means that the sanctions may take place in two years of Mitchel’s position prevails.
Currently U.S. legislation allows Israel to raise fund at low credit rates and improve its credit rating. The last time U.S. had some similar types of sanctions against Israel was during George Bush senior’s presidency.
However, Mitchell said that the U.S. will use incentives or sanctions against both countries Israel and Palestine.
Mitchell also said that there is optimism both in Palestine and Israel and said that Israel is supportive to efforts that from day one Palestinian government may function effectively and they have reduced the number of check points that Israel has established in and around the Palestinian areas. In the meanwhile, the president of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas signaled that he may participate in the U.S. backed summit between Palestinian, Egyptian and Israeli leadership.
The Palestinians so far have said that they are not impressed with the U.S. request to restart the negotiations without conditions. Palestinians want to see Israel freezing the settlement in the Palestinian territories. Israel has indicated they will partially freeze the settlement process.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Jpost that complete freeze of settlements are required to restart the negotiations.
According to Yitzhak Benhorin’s story in Ynet Mitchell will carry letters of ‘guarantees’ to both Israeli and Palestinian sides. Secretary of State Clinton who works very hard to recruit Egypt to get the peace negotiations restarted did not mention anything about those letters.
For the Palestinian side the letters will critique the settlement and will will have the faith that the borders that existed before 1967 between Arabs and Israel should be the base for the negotiation. For Israel, the gesture will be the fact that some demographic changes will be taken into account, meaning some already-existing settlements will be taken into consideration.