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How Israel-Palestine peace process rendered irrelevant

How Israel-Palestine peace process rendered irrelevant
From Al Jazeera - December 7, 2017

The city of Jerusalem, with its historical, religious and political significance, has always been a prominent symbol for the Palestinian cause, or what is left of its tattered remains.

With a stroke of a pen, the United States, which has undertaken the role of peace broker between the Israelis and Palestinians for over two decades, has become the first country in the world to recognise the whole Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

But to the majority of Palestinians, who say their interests were never pursued by their leaders, the unprecedented move came as no surprise, and the peace process will have little meaning.

'Nothing will happen'

Abdelsattar Qassem, a professor of political science at the an-Najah University in Nablus, told Al Jazeera that the Palestinian leadership will not bring about any seismic changes to the peace process.

"Nothing will happen," he said. "[Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas is not a man who takes decisive decisions, and he is not in a position where he has any choices."

"He will go to the negotiating table if called on because he thinks it is a privilege to meet President [Donald] Trump," Qassem continued. "He is not going to sacrifice any chances to meet with the Americans."

The PA, whose economy is propped up by international conditional donor aid, relies on an annual budget of $300m from the US.

The 1993 Oslo Accords was based on the UN resolution 242, which called for a two-state solution with occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestine state.

Yet Israel showed no signs of cooperating to move in this direction, and did not rescind its 1980 law which stated Jerusalem as its "undivided capital".

On the opposite spectrum, the Palestinian leaders made one concession after the other, turning the entire peace process into a farce.

In exchange, these leaders got what they craved for: recognition at the international level and a system of pseudo governance and control over a few ever-shrinking territories in the face of continued Israeli occupation and land expropriation.

PA position

US bias to Israel

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