Taking cue from Syria’s Geneva peace negotiations, France unveiled its proposal for a peace deal between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli regime on January 31, 2016, promising to work on holding an international conference to push resumption of the peace dialogue between the two sides. The French initiative faced an Israeli opposition and a Palestinian Authority’s welcome while some Palestinian factions found it a waste of time. The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has reiterated Paris initiative for the Palestinian-Israeli peace. What is the major objective behind the French insistence on resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations?
Let’s get back in history to the First Intifada of the Palestinians- or also the stone intifada- in 1987 during which the Palestinian politicians spoiled the bloods of their protestors and also missed an opportunity to form a united Palestinian state from north to south after they went to the negotiating table with Tel Aviv in 1993 Oslo peace talks. Also, let’s move back again in history to the Second Intifada in 2000 which restored hope and morale to the Palestinians to realize a seriously long-held dream. However, very soon, their hopes were destroyed after the Palestinian Authority started dialogue with the Israeli regime in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh with a presence of Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas and then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
It appears that the history is repeating itself now as the Palestinian Authority announces agreement with the French initiative for resumption of the talks while even its proposers are not believing in it and its feasibility. With this agreement, some believe, the Palestinian Authority has declared death of the Third Intifada.
Concerning the theme of the new French initiative, some others suggest that it is similar to the Arab initiative of 2002, however, there is a big difference between them. Surprisingly, the French proposal calls for formation of a demilitarized Palestinian state within the pre-1967 Six Day War borders, taking into account the Israeli security requirements, and seeing exchange of territories between the Israeli and Palestinian sides. The Palestinian refugees, according to Paris initiative, would be compensated, with no right to return home. Should the negotiations fail, the Palestinian Authority would be granted a reward: French recognition of a Palestinian state while it does not exist on the ground at all. With this, however, the Palestinian leadership has welcomed, appreciated and even thanked Paris for the care.
It was not just the Palestinian Authority that has welcomed the French move, as also such Arab countries as Saudi Arabia has taken the same positive stance as Anwar Eshki, the retired Saudi army general, has said that Riyadh would open embassy in Tel Aviv should the Israeli regime accepted the Arab peace initiative of 2002 with a French procedure.
A report published by the Israeli daily Jerusalem Post has made it clear that General Anwar Eshki during his interview with Qatar’s Aljazeera news network was asked about the time Saudi Arabia would open its embassy in the Israeli regime. “You must ask the (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu,” replied Eshki. The Jordanian king and the (Persian) Gulf Arab States that welcomed the initiative did the same job under the excuse of efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This article originally appeared on Alwaght.com