“This won’t work — indirect talks, proximity talks will not yield results,” Israeli Intelligence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said Wednesday.
The Israeli official spoke hours before George Mitchell, envoy of US president to the Middle East, was planning to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to finalise the launch of proximity talks that he will supervise between Israel and the Palestinians, slated for the next four months.
Meridor’s prophecy of failure is not one sided. On Saturday, a limited number of Arab foreign ministers also predicted that proximity talks are unlikely to deliver, due to what they qualified as the “lack of good faith” on the side of the Netanyahu government.
The Arab decision to accept the US proposal of indirect talks was adopted despite prior Arab threats of turning down talks if Israel did not halt its aggressive settlement expansion activities in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem that Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders say should be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
According to Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamed Ben Jassem, Arab countries decided to give “the American broker a chance so maybe they can do something.” “This is a chance we are giving to the Americans,” he added, following the five-hour meeting that adopted a communiqué outlining the Arab stance on the parameters of a lasting solution.