By Ted Belman
I attended a briefing today by an employee of the government who was very involved with everything going on in J&S. I will try to interview her on Skype and record it.
She said many things of importance but three things stuck out.
1. Israel wants the EU and US Aid to continue financing projects in Area C even if this means that the EU dictates to Israel what when and why of the projects. Thus we have relinquished our independence for this money. The sad thing is that the money involved is a little over $1 billion dollars, just a third of what we get from the US. Better to forfeit the $1 billion and remain in control of J&S.
2. No one including Kerry has confidence in the peace process so why is Kerry pushing it. That’s because it is a cover for a hidden agenda which she would not disclose.
3. Both Israel and the US want Abbas and Fatah to remain in power to prevent Hamas from taking over. It may be that Israel agreed to the prisoner release as an aid to Abbas to enhance his appeal to ward off Hamas. Considering that Abbas agreed to enter negotiations and may have agreed to make an interim deal on housing construction he would need this release to cover his ass.
I believe the hidden agenda is to define what settlements will remain in Israel and what will be abandoned. If they can come to terms on this then Israel would be able to build as much as she wants in the blocs that are ceded to her and will refrain from building in the rest. The Palestinian would have succeeded in stopping Israel construction in most of Area C. Israel would have solved the illegal settlement accusation and would be free to build excessively. Of course this means that she will start incentivising the Israelis in the doomed settlements to start evacuating them. This could be done over a five year period as new homes become available for them to move into. Previous administrations called it “convergence”.