Israel on offensive over Palestinian diplomacy: Report
  • This Section
  • Latest
  • Web Wrap
Last Updated: Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 16:27
  
Jerusalem: Israel has ordered its envoys abroad to launch a "comprehensive defence" against Palestinian efforts for international recognition of an independent state, Haaretz newspaper reported on its website Tuesday.

With the breakdown of peace talks, the Palestinians have said they are considering new diplomatic options, and welcomed recent announcements by several Latin American nations recognising a Palestinian state.

The move away from talks and toward international recognition has prompted an Israeli diplomatic counter-offensive, Haaretz reported, citing a classified Foreign Ministry cable.

The newspaper's website said the document, penned by Foreign Ministry director-general Rafael Barak, calls on Israeli envoys to begin a "comprehensive defence along the home-front," seeking to undermine Palestinian diplomatic efforts.

It calls on Israeli diplomats to thwart three Palestinian initiatives: a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning settlement activity, international recognition of a Palestinian state, and the upgrading of Palestinian diplomatic representations in Europe and Latin America.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor refused to confirm or deny the cable's existence, saying he would not comment on the Ministry's internal workings.

"What I can say is that Israeli diplomats as a matter of routine are instructed to promote and expose the Israeli position on this and other issues," he told AFP.

Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the first for nearly two years, began in Washington on September 2. But they quickly stalled, when a 10-month Israeli settlement freeze expired on September 26.

The Palestinians refused to resume negotiations without a new moratorium, but Washington admitted last week that it had failed to convince Israel to renew the building ban, despite offering a generous package of incentives.

Palestinian negotiators have emphasised a set of alternatives to new talks, including seeking recognition of a Palestinian state along the borders that existed in 1967, before the Six Day War.

Several Latin American nations, including most recently Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia, have said they recognise a Palestinian state along those borders, and others in the region have said they will do so soon.

The Palestinians have also successfully upgraded the level of their diplomatic representation in several EU countries, including France and Spain, and are seeking similar measures across Europe.

Bureau Report


First Published: Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 16:27


comments powered by Disqus