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US, Israel, Palestine Call for Int’l Intervention


US, Israeli Voices Join Palestinian Call for Int’l Intervention

Barak Says ‘Roadmap’ a ‘Dangerous Program’, Supports Sharon and Liberman

Leading US lawmakers on Sunday publicly voiced concern over the deteriorating situation on the ground between Palestinians and Israelis, and said that military involvement by the United States and its NATO allies may be necessary, thus giving more weight to latest Palestinian outcries for immediate international intervention to save the “roadmap” peace plan.

Military involvement by the United States and its NATO allies may be necessary to create stability between Israel and the Palestinians, a key lawmaker said Sunday.

"If we're serious about having a situation of stability, a very direct action, I think, is going to be required,” Senator Dick Lugar, R-Ind., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said on CNN's Late Edition.

The Bush administration "has to figure out who is going to go after the terrorists,” Lugar said, adding that US military involvement "has to be a potential possibility.”

A Democratic colleague agreed.

"You have to have some military entity that is going to be able to control the terror. Otherwise, the situation is going to dissolve into nothingness,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

Representative Harold Ford, D-Tenn., who recently returned from the region, said the United States must do more to support Palestinian premier Mahmud Abbas and his Cabinet.

The Palestine National Authority (PNA) on late last week said that the all-out war Israel is launching against the Palestinian people and PNA is threatening to undermine Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas’ government as well as the measures it has announced and started to take to put the Palestinian house in order and enforce respect to public order and the rule of law.

The US Secretary of State Colin Powell, viewing the shambles of President Bush’s map to Mideast peace, said both the Israelis and Palestinians are headed down a road that will take them over a cliff. The secretary was not overstating the case.

However the PNA criticized US Administration of allowing for Israel to “negotiate” the “roadmap” plan instead of “implementing” it, which contributed to the currently deteriorating security situation on the ground as Israel is launching an all-embracing war on the Palestinian people with the aim of offsetting the successes of Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas government and derailing the peace process away from implementing the Quartet-adopted Middle East peace plan.

“The only message the envoys to PNA ought to carry out is a message to Washington,” the PNA Minister of Cabinet Affairs Yasser Abed Rabbo told Aljazeera satellite TV station on Friday.

“The US Administration has allowed for Israel to negotiate the roadmap instead of obliging it to implement it,” he added.

On Tuesday Abed Rabbo said the 3-month Hudna or cease-fire declared on June 29 by Palestinian resistance groups was facing the danger of collapse if the United States failed to pressure Israel to lift its suffocating restrictions on Palestinians.

''The situation can't continue like this,” he said.

On Thursday the Hudna did collapse with Israel’s extra-judicial assassination of Hamas leader Ismael Abu Shanab in Gaza.

Earlier, on Sunday August 11, the Palestine National Authority (PNA) voiced impatience with the United States shuttle diplomacy that is not delivering on the ground.

“We have told the Americans that sending envoys now and then is insufficient,” Abed Rabbo said.

“The US Administration has to commit to the ‘roadmap’ and to send envoys who are seriously interested in monitoring the implementation,” of the “roadmap” plan, which was drafted and adopted by the European Union, the United States, the United Nations and Russia.

Reconfirming its decisions on Wednesday to establish the PLO’s sole decision-making authority, to back PM Abass’ measures to enforce respect to law and public order and to end violations thereof, “including the disciplined use of arms, the removal of all armed phenomena,” the PLO leadership on Friday urged the US Administration and the Quartet “to urgently intervene more effectively to stop the Israeli all-out war, withdraw the occupation forces, and lift the military siege (imposed by the IOF on Palestinian Territory).”

“This is the basic mission at these moments, to make possible the prevention of total deterioration and to enable the PNA implement its obligations stipulated in the roadmap, provided Israel also implements its obligations without preconditions and various pretexts not to,” the PLO said in a statement released by the official news agency WAFA, following a meeting of the PLO executive committee, which was chaired by President Yasser Arafat in his battered headquarters in the reoccupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

Some Israelis Agree

Some Israeli observers have reached the same conclusion as the US lawmakers and the Palestinian leadership.

“More than any other, the conclusion that cries out to heaven is that the hawks cannot make peace on their own. In the coming days, it will become clear whether the United States, the primary patron, will once again stand aside, or whether, on the brink of the abyss, it will stretch out a hand to both sides,” Akiva Eldar of Ha’aretz wrote on Monday.

Eldar accused US President George W. Bush of stalling on the implementation of the “raodmap.”

“Because President Bush is reluctant to be dragged into a conflict with Israel over the (settlers’) outposts or the (Apartheid Segaregation Wall) separation fences in the West Bank and Jerusalem, he is being careful to keep his distance from the road map. The chances of this changing depend on his status in the polls,” Eldar said.

Eldar added that the 10th anniversary of the Oslo accords in two weeks is more likely to be marked by more deadly violence.

“The 10th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accord will take place in two weeks, but the chances of peace between Israel and the Palestinians appear many times smaller than the danger of the anniversary being marked by a mass-casualty” violence.

Noting the failure of Israeli Prime Mionister Ariel Sharon’s security approach to the conflict, Eldar said: “Astonishingly, even after 10 years, thousands of dead and wounded and billions of shekels lost, there are no signs on the political horizon of any conclusions being drawn from the mortal situations of both parties.”

Barak Supports Sharon’s Policies

The hopeless Israeli approach and the compelling logic for outside intervention is more highlighted by former prime minister Ehud Barak’s support to Sharon’s policies on Sunday.

In a live interview broadcast on Israel Radio early Monday Barak said that extremists former Israeli premier Benyamin "Netanyahu and Lieberman are correct in opposing the “roadmap.”

He called the US-sponsored “roadmap,” a “dangerous program” that creates a sovereign Palestinian state without resolving key issues.

Barak noted that the sovereign Palestinian state provided by the “roadmap” in Stage II – before the end of 2003 and before the issues of Jerusalem, settlements, refugees, etc. are resolved, is within “temporary boundaries” much as Israel has been within "temporary boundaries' for over half a century,” he said

Barak warned that if this dangerous program of creating a “temporary” Palestinian state, that he identified with Shimon Peres and Sharon, is implemented, Israel will find itself without any negotiating assets before any of the key issues have been resolved and facing a sovereign state against whom security operations will be considerably more costly because it is a sovereign state.

Former US ambassador to the Jewish state Martin Indyk has predicted earlier this year that the “roadmap” was more likely doomed to failure and cited the Kosovo and other examples to press ahead his view that outside intervention might prove the only feasible option to settle the Palestinian – Israeli conflict.

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