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Bill Clinton: “I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state,” but they rejected it

Posted by Albert Gersh - May 16, 2016

Former President Bill Clinton asserted that he tried assiduously to help the Palestinians achieve statehood, but that they rejected his offer. At a campaign event for his wife, Democratic frontrunner for the presidency Hillary Clinton, he stated, “I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state. I had a deal they turned down that would have given them all of Gaza, … between 96 and 97 percent of the West Bank, compensating land in Israel, you name it.” His comments were in response to heckling from a member of the audience about the situation in Gaza, and referred to the Clinton Parameters proposal he put forth in 2000, which former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak endorsed, but which then Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat rejected. The Clinton Parameters proposal followed the failure of the Camp David Summit a few months earlier, when Arafat rejected Barak's proposal for Palestinian statehood. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 in the hopes of reducing tension between Israelis and Palestinians. However, the terrorist group Hamas seized control over the Gaza Strip in 2007 after a civil war with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ political party, Fatah.
The Palestinian leadership has repeatedly spurned Israeli offers of statehood. In 2008, President Abbas failed to respond to former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s proposal for Palestinian statehood. Additionally, in March 2014, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted Secretary of State John Kerry’s parameters for a peace agreement, Abbas reportedly rejected them. In April 2014, Abbas caused the negotiations to collapse when he decided to form a unity government with Hamas. In an interview last month, Hillary Clinton stated, “it is unfair to put the onus on Israel” for the lack of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
France is currently spearheading a multilateral initiative that may result in the imposition of parameters for Palestinian statehood. An upcoming multilateral summit will discuss the contours of such an agreement, but will not include representatives from Israel or the Palestinian Authority. Israel has refused to support the initiative on the grounds that bilateral negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians are the only effective way to pursue peace, and that the French initiative is unhelpful and likely to embolden the Palestinians to avoid direct negotiations. The Oslo Accords, signed in 1993, mandate that Israelis and Palestinians reach a peace agreement through bilateral negotiations.

The Israeli Navy arrested a Hamas-affiliated smuggler who took advantage of recently relaxed limits on fishing boats from the Gaza Strip to bring in weapons and materials that could be used to build rockets, Israel’s internal security service announced on Monday.Salim Jamal Hassan Naman, who was arrested last month, told interrogators that he had been involved in a smuggling operation that transported weapons and materials into Gaza such as fiberglass resin, which can be used to manufacture of rockets, the Shin Bet said.Israel’s Defense Ministry extended the permissible range that Gazan fishing boats can travel from six to nine nautical miles last month. The Shin Bet accused Hamas of “taking advantage” of the relaxed regulations to smuggle in weapons.

Naman was detained after his boat “deviated from the approved sailing area,” according to the Shin Bet. Despite his ties to Hamas, Naman admitted that he also smuggled weapons on behalf of other terrorist groups operating in Gaza.

Israel interdicted a shipment of ammonium chloride that could be used in the production of rockets two weeks ago. The chemical was hidden in a shipment of salt.

In recent weeks the Israeli military uncovered two terror tunnels built by Hamas that extended into Israel territory. The Shin Bet arrested two Hamas operatives in April who gave authorities significant intelligence about the tunnels.

Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, formerly the head of the research division of Israeli military intelligence and later the director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, told reporters earlier this month that the discovery of the tunnels was a sign that Hamas was preparing for another war against Israel. He added that the tunnel digging means that “they definitely invest a lot in making the necessary preparations so that in the next round, when they decide to start it, they will be able to inflict the heaviest damage on Israel, including through those tunnels.”

In Your Complete Guide to Hamas’ Network of Terror Tunnels, which was published in the April 2016 issue of The Tower Magazine, Dan Feferman observed that the people of Gaza pay the price for Hamas’ efforts to rebuild its terror tunnels and prepare for war against Israel.

There is a tragic side to Hamas’ tunnel strategy. Roughly 9,000 homes were destroyed during Protective Edge, and very few have been rebuilt. This is not Israel’s fault, as building supplies flow regularly into Gaza. But according to declassified intelligence reports, these supplies are routinely stolen by Hamas in order to serve the group’s terrorist purposes. Hamas smuggles in cement, diverts from construction and humanitarian donations, and even raids civilian construction sites in order to rebuild its tunnels. Estimates are that one tunnel can cost a million dollars to build and uses around 50,000 tons of concrete. Close to a million tons of concrete were poured into the terror tunnels before 2014.

The tunnels, in this sense, are a zero-sum game. If the same materials were put into reconstruction, the Gazan people would be better off and, lacking this crucial asymmetric warfare capability, Hamas would be less tempted to attack Israel. On the other hand, with the same limited materials going to terror tunnels, the people of Gaza continue to live in ruins while Hamas rebuilds its war machine.

While Hamas appears to be deterred in the short term, it continues to believe that the tunnels are its only strategic weapon. While it may not be interested in another war, the tunnels continue to be dug for a reason. Once used, however, they lose their effectiveness, as the IDF knows their locations and can thus destroy them. Hamas is well aware of this dilemma. The tunnels essentially leave Israel and Hamas in an arms race—with Israel racing to develop a technological solution before Hamas decides to launch another round of fighting.

(via TheTower.org)

The Israeli public-transportation app Moovit will help steer visitors to and from the various competition venues at the Rio Olympic and Paralympics Games this summer in Brazil. Users will get real-time information in 35 languages regarding the routes and timetables for transportation by bus, train, subway, light rail, ferry and cable car, according to a report from JTA and Rio’s tourism website. Moovit, a widely used and fast-growing app backed by the VC firm of Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary, has mapped 50 kilometers (31 miles) of new lines ahead of the Rio Olympics. “Our city advances in the use of technology through this partnership, which will allow not only the Olympic spectators but also the whole population to access a multimodal travel planner with real-time information,” said Rio de Janeiro Secretary of Transportation Rafael Picciani. People with visual impairment will be able to use the app via audible keystrokes. “Contributing to the Olympic Games is directly connected to our commitment to leverage the experience of users when using public transport,” Moovit CEO Nir Erez said. “It’s the perfect opportunity to contribute to Rio by helping solve one of the city’s biggest challenges.” (via Israel21c)

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