Friday, June 14, 2002

Favoring legalisms over common sense, Amnesty Internatiomal has called on the Palestinian Authority to release Ahmed Sa'adat, who Israel says is responsible for the assassination of Tourism Minister Rehavaam Ze'evi. The PA quickly prosecuted and convicted Sa'adat while he was taking refuge in Arafat's under-siege Ramallah compound. Sa'adat was then jailed under US/British wardens as part of a compromise with the Israelis, who wanted to put him on trial themselves.

A PA "reverse-kangaroo" court later declared Sa'adat innocent - and that's good enough for Amnesty(report).

The plan for a security fence is being criticized - an Israeli settler organization wants to ensure that the fence is not construed as a political boundary; Arabs in the Umm al-Fahm area are concerned that the fence not cross into their municipal jurisdiction (report).

Current reports are that Bush now favorably views the idea of a "timeline" towards a final agreement with the Palestinians (report). This would basically mean assigning dates by which concrete concessions would be offered by Israel, regardless of Palestinian behaviour or diplomatic progress - which is why I don't understand it. It's also bizarre how when Sharon visits Bush, US policy seems to be favoring Israel; a few days later the Saudis visit and they come out with this. "Eight weeks to a state and a year to finish negotiations on refugees" would mean 8 weeks of Palestinians insisting on fully open borders etc. followed by a year of Palestinians demanding full Israeli absorption of the Palestinian refugee camps.

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