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'US backing to Israel reason for the Middle-East crisis'


Thursday, December 17, 2009 09:39:51 AM, Agencies

Israel bombs Gaza and Palestinian territories at will to, what it terms, eliminate Palestinian Militancy

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Riyadh/Ramallah: Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said that US backing for Israel gave the Jewish state the option of not making peace.


In an interview published in the International Herald Tribune on Wednesday, Prince Saud said: “Absolute US backing ... has made Israel see the option of living in the area without the acceptance of the people of the area. This has led to many years of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”


The prince also lamented the failure of his efforts to establish a Palestinian state and regional peace during his tenure of almost 35 years as foreign minister.


During this period, “We have seen only moments of crisis, we have seen only moments of conflict,” Prince Saud said.


“And how can you have any pleasure in anything that happens when you have people like the Palestinians living as they are?” he asked.


“Peace until now is like holding water or sand in your hand. You see the amount of water, you think you can hold something, but it falls away. Sand is the same thing. So unless there is something to hold in your hand and to point to as a success and as an achievement, you have done nothing.”


Separately, the prince said Lebanon would be denied true sovereignty as long as Hezbollah “owns more arms than the military forces of the country.” He said he was “suspicious” of Iranian claims its nuclear program is peaceful.


Prince Saud said Israel should give up its nuclear arsenal, the existence of which it neither confirms nor denies.


Meanwhile, in Ramallah, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Wednesday extended the mandates of both President Mahmoud Abbas and the Hamas-dominated Parliament until new elections can be held.


“The PLO took the decision that President Abbas and the Legislative Council will continue their duties until the next election in accordance with the law,” PLO representative Qaid Al-Ghul told AFP.


The decision by the powerful umbrella group effectively extends the tense status quo between the bitter Palestinian rivals, Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah party in charge of the West Bank.


The move also aims to prevent a constitutional vacuum after Jan. 24, when the present mandates expire, as Hamas has vowed to prevent a vote in their Gaza enclave. Abbas had called elections for next month but Hamas has said it will not allow the vote in its territory until there is a national reconciliation agreement.



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