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Hillary Clinton hopes a peace agreement can be reached within a year, in first direct negotiations since 2008

Chris McGreal in Washington guardian.co.uk,
Friday 20 August 2010 16.59 BST

The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians would aim to 'resolve all final status issues within one year. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Israel and the Palestinians are to resume direct peace talks next month, Hillary Clinton has announced.

The US secretary of state said she hoped a comprehensive peace agreement could be reached within a year, as she confirmed the first direct negotiations since 2008.

Talks will begin in Washington on 2 September to “relaunch direct negotiations to resolve all final status issues which we believe can be completed within one year”, Clinton said.

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, will fly to Washingtonfor an initial meeting hosted by Barack Obama.

The Egyptian and Jordanian leaderships have also been invited, as has Tony Blair, the envoy for the Middle East quartet – the US, UN, EU and Russia – in view of “his important work to help Palestinians build the institutions of their future state”.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/20/israel-palestinians-resume-peace-talks

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The Times Online/UK, June 15, 2009

Benjamin Netanyahu

(Baz Ratner/Reuters)

Binyamin Netanyahu refused to halt Israeli settlement-building in his speech

James Hider in Jerusalem

Binyamin Netanyahu threw down the gauntlet to the US last night, grudgingly agreeing to a limited Palestinian state that would be demilitarised and not in control of its airspace or borders.The hawkish Prime Minister insisted that Israel would never give up a united Jerusalem as its capital, and said that established Jewish settlements in the West Bank would continue to expand — despite explicit objections from Washington.

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Editorial

The Guardian, UK,  Tuesday 24 March 2009

Evidence that Israel committed war crimes in its 23-day operation in Gaza mounts by the week. Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have both appealed for a United Nations inquiry, after conducting their own investigations. Last week Ha’aretz published the testimonies of Israeli soldiers who alleged that a sniper shot a Palestinian mother and her two children, and that a company commander ordered an elderly woman to be killed. Yesterday Physicians for Human Rights accused soldiers of ignoring the special protection that Palestinian medical teams are entitled to receive. Today the Guardian releases three films in which our reporter Clancy Chassay reveals evidence that Israel used drones to fire at civilian targets, killing at least 48; he interviews three Palestinian youths used by Israeli soldiers as human shields and alleges that soldiers targeted paramedics and hospitals.

None of this is to deny that a case also exists against Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza. Firing unaimable rockets at civilians in southern Israel is also a war crime. But there is no symmetry of guilt. Israel has weapons it can place to within a metre of its intended targets. Its drones have high-quality optics that can see the colour of the target’s sweater. And they film everything both before and after each attack. The army has the means to refute these allegations, but feels no obligation to do so. An international inquiry should be launched for no other reason than to hold it accountable.

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