Peace

PROPHETIC SIGNIFICANCE:
The search for peace is a major issue in End-Times Bible prophecy. The age-old tension between Israel and her Islamic neighbors will lead to a temporary peace that will give occasion for a suprise attack predicted by Ezekiel as the War of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38 and 39). This may be the same as the war of the Second Seal (Revelation 6:3-4). God will intervene and give victory to Israel.

Israel will also be given a seven-year covenant or peace treaty by the evil end-times dictator that will be broken after three and one-half years(The "Abomination of Desolation" - Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15-21; Revelation 13).

Jesus Christ is "The Prince of Peace." He taught us that if someone strikes us not to retaliate. But what does the rest of the Bible add to this issue? Can we be peace-loving people and still act in self defense? Is there such a thing as a "just war," as philosophers and theologians have defined it? This is not an easy subject, but it is one each Christian should study and prayerfully decide.




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Message Outline:
People of Peace in a Time of War




Key Scriptures

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Daniel 9:27 Further Study
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Current Events


Prophetic Significance of Peace




See also:
Wars
Mid-East Conflict
War of Gog and Magog
Mark of the Beast

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See more recent articles: After December 31, 2013


US offered to guard Jordan Valley, Palestinians say

Dec. 23, 2013 - An Arab news daily in London reported that the Americans were trying to appease Palestinian objections to Israeli security in the Jordan Valley. Supposedly, the U.S. has offered to provide the military presence there. However, Maj. Gen. (res.) Avi Mizrahi, a former commander of the IDF in West Bank, recently said that Israel’s security requires Israeli military along the Jordan River.
“I wouldn’t rely on foreign forces,” he said. “Our history shows that every time the deployment of international forces was tried in one form or another, their output in the field was not what we wanted. We need to rely on ourselves.”
Source: Times of Israel
Egypt: Fatah-Hamas Split Preventing Statehood - Israel National News

Prophetic Significance of Peace


EU warns Israel over settlement construction

Dec. 17, 2013 - European foreign ministers meeting in Brussels announced the European Union would provide "unprecedented support" to Israel and the Palestinians if they can make peace with each other.

They warned Israel that they will be held responsible for the failure of peace talks if they announce any new settlement construction plans. Israel has made such announcements after the last two groups of Palestinian prisoners were released, and they fear the same thing will happen at the end of this month when they release more prisoners.

“We gave you an offer which is truly unprecedented. We are really serious about the offer, and we ask that you don’t underestimate it. We are ready to discuss with you right now how the future of EU-Israel relations might look..."

Source: i24News



Kerry: Concrete progress has been made in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
Dec. 16, 2013 - In spite of negative reports from some sources in the Middle East and the fact that the participants in the peace talks have vowed not to discuss details of their discussions, Secretary of State John Kerry left the area with an upbeat message to the press.
Kerry told reports after meeting ... that the two side remained committed to talks and were discussing a framework for a final-status agreement, which he saw as on course to reaching by April.
Source: Jerusalem Post
Fatah official: No meeting between Abbas and Netanyahu - The Times of Israel
Poll reveals most Palestinians think peace talks with Israel are dead - Jerusalem Post

Kerry due back in Israel in new push for ‘framework’ peace accord

Dec. 12, 2013 - Secretary of State John Kerry has returned to Israel to try to keep the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians moving forward. A plan he proposed for security in the Jordan Valley last week still needs adjustment before either side will accept it.
Kerry reportedly also intends to set out American proposals in the near future to resolve the other core issues — Jerusalem, the borders of a Palestinian state, and the Palestinian refugees.
Kerry said he believes the prospect of peace is closer “than we have been in years.” And Israel's Justice Minister Tzipi Livni warned fellow cabinet members, “We are facing a window of opportunity for peace and must not miss it.”
Source: Times of Israel
Palestinians, Israelis agree: Peace talks not progressing - Haaretz
Update: Dec. 13, 2013 - Abbas Rejects Israeli Security Presence in the Jordan Valley - Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has said that if Israel insists on maintaining security presence in the Jordan Valley, there will not be a peace agreement. - Israel National News

Palestinians: Kerry Appeasing Israel Over Iran — at Their Expense

Dec. 10, 2013 -
Israel has long demanded that under any eventual accord it retain swaths of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, as well as military control of the territory's eastern Jordan Valley — effectively, the prospective Palestine's border with Jordan.
Yasser Abed Rabbo is a senior Palestinian official who was with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry last week. He complains that the U.S. is asking Palestinians to make unreasonable concessions in their peace talks with Israel. He said Kerry wanted to "appease Israel through agreeing to its expansion demands in the [Jordan] Valley under the pretext of security."

Kerry evidently thinks that Israel would stop criticizing the nuclear deliberations with Iran, which is going on at this same time, if the Palestinians would make that concession. Rabbo says that Kerry has plunged the peace process into crisis by asking them to let Israel keep the settlements.

Source: NewsMax
IDF's Jordan Valley chief sees no possibility of army's withdrawal from area - Israel Hayom
US ambassador rejects talk of Iran-Palestinian ‘linkage’ - Times of Israel

Netanyahu: A nuclear Iran will preclude Israeli-Palestinian peace

Dec. 9, 2013 - In a video presentation to a Washington D.C. group, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the "unprecedented" unrest in the Middle East that arose during the Arab Spring "made clear that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the source of the area's turbulence."

He said, "Peace with the Palestinians is vital," but he explained that the issue is not simply about borders and settlements, but about the refusal by the Palestinains to accept Israel as a Jewish state. He also said that if Iran gains nuclear weapons it will strengthen the radical elements that oppose peace.

Source: Haaretz

Kerry: No Israel-Palestinian deal if Israel's security is not enhanced by peace accord

Dec. 6, 2013 - US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu three times in 36 hours. He also met once during that time with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. He said,
"We have gone through a very detailed, lengthy, in-depth analysis of the security challenges of the region, particularly the challenges to Israel and the creation of a viable, independent Palestinian state."
However, he told reporters that Israel's security must be increased through an agreement with the Palestinians in order to reach an agreement.
Source: Jerusalem Post
Kerry: We are closer to peace than we have been in years - Times of Israel

US officials: Kerry to present security plan in meetings with Israelis, Palestinians

Dec. 5, 2013 - Secretary of State John Kerry is in Israel again. This time he plans to be personally involved in the discussion of peace plans between Israel and Palestinians.
The proposal will mark the first time that Kerry, who was to arrive in Israel late Wednesday, has directly intervened in the talks since they began in late July. By all accounts, the negotiations have made no progress, despite an April target date for reaching a deal.
His main approach to the dialogue now is to address Israeli security concerns. It is believed that if these can be met, the questions of borders and other details can be solved as well.
Source: Calgary Herald

Netanyahu Calls on Palestinian Abbas to Address Israeli Knesset

Nov. 19, 2013 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited Palestinian president Mahmoud Abba to visit the Knesset in order to break the deadlock on peace talks. He said he would be willing to do the same at Ramallah.
"Get up on this platform and recognize the historical truth: the Jews have a nearly 4,000-year-old link to the land of Israel. The Jews are a people with a right to self-determination," he said.
Source: NewsMAX

Kerry to Abbas: US determined to reach Palestinian-Israeli peace deal

Nov. 6, 2013 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the negotiations on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has failed to make any real progress. However, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that he and President Obama will not stop trying to bring the two sides together.
Source: Jerusalem Post
Palestinian official: No talks while settlement construction continues - Times of Israel

Lapid: Jerusalem is not up for negotiation because the city will never be divided

Nov. 5, 2013 - In an interview on Israel Radio Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid said that Jerusalem is the "founding ethos" of the State of Israel and cannot be divided under any circumstances." His statement came amid reports that Jerusalem was being discussed in the ongoing peace talks with the Palestinians.
Source: Jerusalem Post

Abbas: Peace talks with Israel haven't reached dead end

Oct. 21, 2013 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denied Saturday that peace talks with Israel have reached a dead end.
In an interview to German channel Deutsche Welle, the Palestinian leader said the talks have only just begun, and that there is still time to discuss various issues.
Avigdor Lieberman, a member of Israel's Knesset responded to the statement that Abbas is no partner for peace.
Source: Haaretz

Kerry: Israel, Palestinians agree to intensify peace talks with increased US role

Sept. 26, 2013 - US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Israel and the Palestinians intend to intensify their peace talks.
Speaking to donors who support the Palestinian Authority, Kerry said the two sides have met seven times since the talks resumed on July 29 although Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have not met.
Kerry also said that both sides of the negotiations think that American participation "should be increased somewhat in order to try to help facilitate."
Source: Jerusalem Post
Update Oct. 7, 2013 - Netanyahu blames Mideast conflict on refusal to recognize Jewish state - Times of Israel

Kerry putting Israel in ‘impossible situation,’ Israeli lawmaker writes

Sept. 15, 2013 - Ayelet Shaked, a member of Israel's Knesset sent U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry a letter complaining that he has put Israel in an “impossible situation.” She said,
“You have forced us into peace talks during a period of time that the entire Middle-East is in chaos, without realizing that by doing so, you have foolishly put us in an impossible situation, in which we cannot and will not make any concessions.”
She also called him hypocritical for forcing the release of Palestinian killers, which the U.S. would never do with prisoners who had killed their citizens. Shaked is a 37-year old mother of two. She said that his actions were "putting me and my children’s lives at risk.”
Source:Jewish Journal

Palestinians Cancel Meetings With Israel After West Bank Deaths

Aug. 26, 2013 - While conducting an arrest raid in a West Bank refugee camp, Israeli security forces encountered hundreds of rioting Palestinians. Three Palestinians were killed, including a 17-year-old. In response, the Palestians canceled peace talks with Israel that were scheduled for today.
“A large, violent crowd such as this, which significantly outnumbers security forces, leaves no other choice but to resort to live fire in self defense,” Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said in a statement.
Source: Business Week X

Israelis and Palestinians meet for peace talks

Aug. 19, 2013 - For the first time in five years, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met in an undisclosed location in Jerusalem yesterday for substantial peace talks. Israel signaled hope by releasing the first few of some 104 Palestinian prisoners they have promised to release over the next nine months. Palestinians claim that new settlement plans by Israel may destroy the peace process
State department officials said the talks would take place out of the public eye, and statements on their progress were unlikely. The venue of meetings will shift between west Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Jericho in the coming days.
Source: The Guardian - UK
As peace talks pick up, Palestinians demand a return to villages fled long ago -

Palestinian flag out in honor as PA officials visit Knesset

July 31, 2013 -
The Palestinian flag stood in the Knesset on Wednesday when Israeli and Palestinian officials met at The Knesset's Caucus on Ending the Israeli-Arab conflict.
One fourth of the Israeli parliament members came to meet the Palestinian delegation at the Knesset.

When the group comes to Ramallah, it is hoped that the Israeli flag will be displayed and one fourth of the Palestinian parliament will greet them.

Source: Jerusalem Post

Israelis, Palestinians agree to 9-month timeline for negotiations

July 29, 2013 - State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that participants in the new peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to a nine-month timetable for the process.
“This is the beginning of final-status arrangements . . . It is not a deadline, but an agreement that they will work together for at least this period.”
Source: Times of Israel
Analysis: Despite new talks, Israeli-Palestinian peace deal would require big gambles - Washington Post

US commends 'courage' of PM, Abbas at start of new peace talks

July 29, 2013 - A State Department spokesman announced that direct final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will begin soon in Washington DC as a result of the courage of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
In a statement to the press, spokesman Jen Psaki stated: "Both leaders have demonstrated a willingness to make difficult decisions that have been instrumental in getting to this point," adding that the US Secretary of State John Kerry is "grateful for their leadership.”
Israel's cabinet has approved the talks and agreed to release 104 Palestinian prisoners over the next nine months as an incentive for the process to proceed.
Source: Jerusalem Post
Palestinian prisoner release passes cabinet by wide 13-7 margin - Jerusalem Post
Mideast peace talks to begin this week. But why did Israel approve release of 104 terrorists? - Joel Rosenberg

Israel, Palestinians to launch talks Tuesday

July 24, 2013 - It has been nearly three years since any progress has been made with peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Knowledgeable sources say that they believe talks will begin on Tuesday in Washington. By then the Israeli cabinet will have considered granting a Palestinian prisoner release, and a referendum bill which will require the approval of Israeli citizens of any agreement.
The talks are expected to be held under maximum cloak of confidentiality, and only the Americans will address the media and report about the progress.
Source:YNet News

Tensions Simmer in Israel Over Proposed Palestinian Talks

July 21, 2013 -
Washington hopes to host Israeli and Palestinian negotiators within a week for the launch of "final-status" talks on founding a Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state, in territories the latter captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
The date has not yet been set to begin the talks. Tentative plans have not been revealed either, honoring U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's request for discretion about the process.

Some of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government are not pleased with the arrangements, but he appears to have enough support to go forward with the peace talks.

Source: Haaretz
In dramatic turnabout, Israelis & Palestinians agree to direct peace talks. Here’s what we know so far. - Joel Rosenberg
Kerry announces new peace talks, to begin shortly in Washington - Times of Israel
Top PA official: We haven’t agreed to negotiate yet - Times of Israel
Talks announced: Israel says PA dropped preconditions - WND
Quiet settlement freeze: Netanyahu denies, Ariel thinks otherwise - YNet News

EU publishes guidelines barring all cooperation with Israeli entities over pre-67 lines

July 19, 2013 -
The European Union on Friday formally published new guidelines explicitly banning any EU funding of and cooperation with Israeli institutions operating in territories beyond the pre-1967 lines, amid vigorous Israeli objections.
The directives are supposedly helpful to Israel because it defines the conditions for Israel to receive EU assistance, but Jewish officials say it will alienate Israel and force the issue of its future borders.
Source: Times of Israel
Kerry says gaps narrowing between Israel and Palestinians - Times of Israel
Kerry 'hopeful' on new Mideast talks, but warns 'very tough choices' ahead - Jerusalem Post

Netanyahu phones Abbas for Ramadan, pushes to restart talks

July 15, 2013 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a rare personal phone call to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to wish him Happy Ramadan. He used the opportunity to express his hope that while U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is working to restart peace talks, that both sides will agree to begin negotiations.
Source: Times of Israel

Netanyahu said to have met secretly with Palestinian leaders

July 8, 2013 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been meeting with high-level Palestinian leaders including Ashraf al-Ajrami. the former PA minister for prisoners' affairs and Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas. They have held direct secret negotiations in hopes of keeping the possibility of peace alive.
Ajrami also warned that unless diplomacy began to show results, ”we will go to war, with a lot of casualties.
Source: Times of Israel

Kerry: Urgent progress is needed on Mideast peace

Jun. 27, 2013 - Secretary of State John Kerry will try again to stimulate peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. On Thursday he will have dinner with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and on Friday he will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for lunch in Amman, Jordan..
Kerry said he's set no specific deadline for making concrete progress in talks between Israel and the Palestinians that he's continuing this week, but that long before September there needs to be some kind of progress shown.
Source: CNS News
Abbas: We will only negotiate based on 1967 lines - Times of Israel

Netanyahu urges Palestinians to start talks, and stay at them

Jun. 25, 2013 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping that once peace talks resume between Israel and the Palestinians, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will remain in the talks and "grapple with all the issues" instead of giving up as soon as they have difficult discussions.
Netanyahu [is] concerned that Abbas will enter the talks but then leave them soon after as he did in September 2010 and again during low level talks with Israel in Jordan in 2012.
Source: Jerusalem Post
Abbas douses expectations for resumption of talks - Jerusalem Post

US, Russia to hold Syria talks in Geneva next week

Jun. 21, 2013 -
An international peace conference looking to end the war in Syria has been in the works for several months but likely won't take place before August, after G8 leaders disagreed with Russia over the nature of a transitional government.
In an effort to keep the peace effort on track, Senior U.S. officials will meet next week in Geneva with their Russian counterparts and an international mediator. At this point the U.S. has agreed to help the mainly Sunni rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad's government, but Russia is providing weapons to help Assad.
Source: Fox

Obama Promotes Nuclear-Free World in Berlin Speech

Jun. 19, ,2013 - At the famed Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, President Obama calls for the New START agreement. In it the U.S. and Russia would reduce their arsenal to 1,550 deployed strategic warheads by 2018. He also called for a new treaty to halt production of fissile material used in nuclear bombs. Meanwhile, the United States will have a "safe, secure and effective" nuclear arsenal to guarantee its defense, and that of its allies, as long as nuclear weapons exist.
The test ban treaty bars all nuclear explosions on Earth, and has been ratified by 159 nations, including Russia, since its inception in 1996. China, India and Pakistan are among those that have not formally approved the treaty.
Source: Voice of America

Kerry's plan: Core issues, then gestures, and finally Jerusalem

Jun. 12, 2013 - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry proposes a gradual multistep peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians.
Under Kerry's plan, Israel and the Palestinians would immediately enter into negotiations on core issues, based on the recognition of two states, the right of the Palestinian people to independence and the preservation of Israel's security interests and main settlement blocs.
Later, Israel would adopt a make a freeze on settlements and the release of prisoners. If everything else goes well, they will finally negotiate the issue of Jerusalem.
Source: Israel Hayom
PM reaffirms Israels commitment to two-states - Jerusalem Post
I will seek a demilitarized Palestinian state, says Netanyahu - Israel Hayom
Bill Clinton: No alternative to two-state solution - Times of Israel

Israel Peace With Iran and Neighbors - Mid-East War and Peace Planning

Jun. 11, 2013 - Letter sent to the President and Congress in January from William Mohlenhoff, Captain, U.S. Navy (Retired) and author of Omega Chronicles. It outlines
what the Christian Bible teaches about peace between Israel and its neighbors prior to the 7-year Apocalypse of the End Time Prophecies. Also, with significant background in Navy aircraft carrier air war and weapon system design and development planning, we submit complete suggestions regarding the means to settle for peace in the Mid-East. Only a complete understanding of religious beliefs and intentions of the believers will lead to the peace we are seeking in the Mid-East.
Source: William Mohlenhoff

Kerry delays Middle East trip to give Abbas more time

Jun. 10, 2013 -
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was supposed to arrive in Israel on Tuesday, but trip has been delayed, likely to next week, as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas decides whether to drop preconditions for talks with Israel.
Source:Israel Hayom

Kerry: Last chance for Israel-PA peace

Jun. 4, 2013 - Returning to the Middle East for the fifth time since asuming the role of Secretary of State, he is hopeful that the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians can be restarted after 5 years of inactivity. He says, "If we do not succeed now, we may not get another chance."
Source: YNet

Palestinian negotiator: No talks unless Israel accepts ’67 lines, freezes settlements

May 27, 2013 - At a meeting at the Dead Sea in Jordan, Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority said that peace talks could only resume if Israel ceased all settlement activity and openly declared that a future state of Palestine would be created on the 1967 lines with minor land swaps.

At the same meeting Israeli President Shimon Peres said that he was optimistic about efforts made by US Secretary of State John Kerry to restart negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Source: Times of Israel

Influential Palestinians Say It’s Time for a One-State Solution

May 24, 2013 - For nearly 20 years Holy Land residents have pursued a two-state solution to the Israeli/ Palestinian population there. Recently more and more Palestinian leaders are saying that the time has past for that dream to become a reality. Instead, they think that the entire area should become a secular democratic state. An official in Prime Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, speaking on condition of anonymity, said,
“That is the fundamental problem in the peace process. . . The Palestinian side still views the Jewish state as fundamentally illegitimate. They’re talking about peace without the Jewish state, and won’t find in us a partner for that.”
Source: TIME

Government rifts over peace process revealed during Knesset committee meeting

May 22, 2013 - At a Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting in Israel Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said that the government's goal is to restart negotiations with the Palestinians. Former Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin mentioned that there was substantial disagreement in the government over the issue of a two-state solution. Livni answered,
"It is no secret that there are differences among government members over the Palestinian issue and what an agreement with them should look like, but the policy is negotiations based on two national states which will bring an end to the conflict."
Source: Haaretz

In sea change, Arab League backs land swaps in peace talks

Apr. 30, 2013 - Qatari Prime Minister Sheik Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani announced a new position by the Arab League that calls for an agreement between Israel and a future Palestine based on the borders before the 1967 Mideast War, but with the possibility of “comparable,” mutually agreed and “minor” land swaps between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Source: Times of Israel

U.S. said to be planning Mideast peace summit

Apr. 25, 2013 -
The United States is planning a Middle East summit in Washington in June to push the Israeli-Palestinian peace process forward, officials said.
President Barack Obama will preside over the meeting. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will participate. King Abdullah of Jordan will also be invited, and possibly other leaders of Arab countries.
Source: UPI
UN calls for new Mideast peace push in wake of Obama opening Times of Israel
With Syrian crisis threatening entire Middle East, UN official urges Israeli-Palestinian progress - U.N. News Centre

Officials say ‘no thanks’ to Kerry plan to jump-start talks

Apr. 11, 2013 - US Secretary of State John Kerry said that his contacts in the Middle East had been constructive. However, neither Israel nor the Palestinians were willing to make the concessions Kerry requested to reactivate peace talks.
But a senior Israeli official told news website Ynet Wednesday that Jerusalem had no intention of providing the Palestinians with any concessions ahead of talks, which had reportedly been a keystone of Kerry’s efforts.
Kerry plans to make numerous trips to the region in coming months to try to jump-start talks that have been stalled since 2010.
Source: Times of Israel
Pat Robertson Warns of 'Terrible Suffering for U.S.' if Israel Loses Jerusalem - Christian Post

Netanyahu ‘determined’ to move forward with peace process

April 9, 2013 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US Secretary of State John Kerry today. He indicated that he wants to attain a final-status agreement with the Palestinians. He said,
“I am determined not only to resume the peace process with the Palestinians, but to make a serious effort to end this conflict once and for all."
Israel’s attempts to reengage the Palestinian Authority would include “economic components." Kerry said that both sides would also need to make tangible political concessions.

In regard to political issues, Netanyahu said that Palestinians would have to recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and must insure security for Israel’s citizens.

Palestinians say that PA President Mahmoud Abbas wants to see a map that shows Israel’s territorial plans before starting talks.

Source: Times of Israel

Israel ready for ‘historic compromise’ with Palestinians, Netanyahu says

Mar. 19, 2013 - Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed that Israel is ready for a “historic compromise” in talks with the Palestinians.
Speaking in parliament before the 22 ministers were sworn in, Netanyahu said that, while the cabinet would work to carry out domestic reforms that were the focus of Israel’s election in January, the government’s top priority would be “protecting the security of the state and its citizens.”
Source: Washington Post

White House lowers expectations ahead of Obama's Middle East trip

Mar. 18, 2013 - President Obama will visit Israel on Wednesday to try to improve his relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The major issues to be discussed are the furtherance of the efforts by Israeli and Palestinian leaders to reach a peace agreement and how to cope with Iran's efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.
The centerpiece of Obama's visit will be a speech in Jerusalem to an audience mainly of Israeli students. It's part of the president's effort to appeal to the Israeli public, particularly young people.
Source: Fox

Netanyahu Recruits Livni to Steer Palestinian Peace Efforts

Feb. 20, 2013 - As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu puts together his coalition government, he asked Tzipi Livni, the former Israeli foreign minister to become justice minister and to manage peace talks with the Palestinians.
“I criticized the government’s management over the past four years, but since the election, we’ve come to understandings to put all that aside,” Livni said.
Netanyahu has said he hopes to have the new government in place before President Obama visits in March.
Source: Bloomberg

EU reportedly to offer new Middle East peace plan

Jan. 14, 2013 - Diplomatic sources claim that the European Union is drafting a proposal for a peace plan that would restart the dormant Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
The goal of the EU plan is to bring about the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with its capital in East Jerusalem.
It is likely that the plan will be presented in March, after Israel's January 22 elections. British and French ministers are working on it with the support of Germany and some contact with US President Barack Obama and incoming Secretary of State John Kerry.

The sources say that the plan would be acceptable to the Palestinians, but it would call for Israel to join a pan-Middle East conference, including Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf states. It will embarrass Israel if it fails to join the discussion.

Source: Times of Israel

Amid uproar, Netanyahu reportedly reaffirms commitment to two-state solution

Jan. 2, 2013 - Last week some of the members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party claimed that the concept of “two states for two peoples was never part of [Likud's] election platform.” In June of 2009 at Bar-Ilan University Netanyahu expressed support for a Palestinian state. This week hard-line Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely said the Bar-Ilan speech was a tactical maneuver only meant to placate the world. According to an Israeli television report Netanyahu reaffirmed his support for a two-state solution Monday,
But that he added the caveat that recognition of a Palestinian state hinged on the Palestinians’ recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, resolution of the conflict, and resolution of Israel’s security concerns.
Source: Times of Israel
US calls on Israel, Palestinians to ‘make a fresh start’ and rekindle peace talks - Times of Israel

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