Reuters reports: Israel should stop building settlements, denying Palestinian development and designating land for exclusive Israeli use that Palestinians seek for a future state, the Middle East peace “Quartet” recommended on Friday in a an eagerly awaited report.
The report by the Quartet entities sponsoring the stalled peace process – the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations – said the Israeli policy “is steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution.”
“This raises legitimate questions about Israel’s long-term intentions, which are compounded by the statements of some Israeli ministers that there should never be a Palestinian state,” according to the eight-page report.
Amid a spike in violence, the Quartet criticized Palestinian leaders for “not consistently and clearly” condemning terrorist attacks and said illicit arms build up and militant activities in Gaza – controlled by Islamist group Hamas – must stop.
On Friday, an Israeli family car came under Palestinian gunfire near the Jewish settlement of Ottniel and crashed, killing a man, medics said. In the nearby city of Hebron, Israeli police shot dead a Palestinian woman who they said tried to stab one of them after she was detained.
Diplomatic sources said the report carries significant political weight as it has the backing of close Israeli ally the United States, which has struggled to revive the peace talks amid tensions between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama. [Continue reading…]