Finally, the Palestinians agreed to direct negotiations with Israel, which began this week in Washington.
There was some good first step news.
U.S. envoy to Mideast says next round of talks scheduled for Sept. 14-15, likely to be hosted by Egypt.
Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed Thursday to produce a framework for a permanent peace deal and to hold a second round of direct talks this month followed by regular meetings, a modest achievement reached amid deep skepticism about success at their first such session in two years. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet again on Sept. 14 and 15 in the Middle East, likely at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik, with an eye toward forging the outline of a pact that could lead to a final agreement in a year’s time.
And, then, there was the other news, which while predictable, is still disappointing.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah praised Hamas on Friday for the West Bank shooting attacks which left four Israelis dead and two injured on two consecutive days, saying “this is the way to free Jerusalem and Palestine.”
Palestinian militant groups have joined forces to step up attacks against Israel, possibly including suicide bombings, the Hamas Islamist faction said on Thursday, after Palestinian and Israeli leaders launched direct peace negotiations in Washington. A spokesman for Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said some 13 militant groups had joined forces to launch “more effective attacks” against Israel. Asked if this included suicide bombings, he said: “All options are open.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki accused Arab leaders of ‘betraying their nations’ by attending relaunch of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Washington
Egypt has cancelled a visit by Iran’s foreign minister to protest comments in which he accused Arab leaders of betrayal for attending the new round of Mideast peace talks in Washington.