With some of its harsher statements softened, the final declaration of the Paris Middle East Peace conference, released yesterday, is substantially the same as the leaked pre-conference draft. For the record, this is the full official text of the final declaration from Paris on 15 January 2017
Three days ago, while Abbas was on his way to Rome and world leaders were making their way to Paris, the Secretary-General of the PA was in Russia. While there, he confirmed that Abbas is "ready" for face-to-face negotiations — in Moscow. Russia's government-owned news agency, TASS, reports.
This weekend, while France attempted to rally the world to impose on Israel its solution for peace with Palestinians, the Palestinian president met with the pope in Rome. Abbas, named by the pope in 2015 as an "angel of peace," also opened a new Palestinian embassy to the Vatican. Are the events in Rome a greater threat to Israel's sovereignty than Paris?
Knowing that the government in Gaza is sworn to Israel's destruction, Jerusalem has decided that recent calm justifies an increase in humanitarian aid for Palestinian civilians there. Before the war with Hamas in 2014, about 300 truckloads of materiel went into Gaza every day. Today some 1,000 truckloads make their way to Palestinians there.
Last night Damascus was hit by two explosions. One, a suicide bombing at an officers' club, killed at least ten. The other happened at the Mezzeh airport. Damascus blames Israel. But, for disturbing reasons revealed by this Israeli intelligence report from DEBKAfile, Israel is an unlikely candidate. Who then? And why?
This is a word-for-word reproduction of a leaked preliminary draft of the resolution the Paris Middle East Peace Conference aims to pass.
History is repeating itself. Similarities between Munich in 1938 and Paris in 2017 are uncanny. Today, as yesterday, the result of a peace conference could easily lead to another world war, this time in the Middle East. And this time centered around Israel.
What can Israel expect from the Paris conference of seventy nations that starts on Sunday? According to Anne Bayefsky, it should expect further diplomatic attacks under the guiding hand of President Barack Obama who "has gone rogue."
What are Russia's true intentions in Syria? Maintain the status quo, playing off its tensions? Or complete regime victory for Assad? If the latter, writes Jonathan Spyer, "there is trouble ahead."
Not only to Israel's north and east, but also to its south, ISIS is anything but defeated. In fact, in the Sinai Peninsula, it is taking over large swaths of territory - just across Israel's border. It is also winning converts inside Israel. The entrenchment and advances of Islamic State have a direct bearing on yesterday's vehicular terror attack in Jerusalem.