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Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | Thursday, October 31, 2013

Aggressive talk in Middle East peace process

Within the framework of the Middle East peace talks, Israel released a second group of long-term Palestinian prisoners on Wednesday - only to announce the construction of new settlements in East Jerusalem shortly afterwards. The peace process will remain fruitless as long as both sides try to use it to further their own goals, the left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung fears: "The night-time celebrations [of the Palestinians] were put on less for the former prisoners - to say nothing of for the people - than for the ruling Fatah, which at long last wants to cast itself in the role of victor. ... President Mahmoud Abbas therefore lost no time, immediately announcing that there would be no agreement with Israel 'as long as a single prisoner is sitting behind bars.' ... In view of such obstruction from above, the current negotiations don't stand a chance. First there must be a change of course on the part of both leaderships, who owe it to their people to tell them the truth about the price that must be paid for peace."

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