World / Middle East

Kerry's efforts achieve relative calm but with no political solution: Palestinian analysts

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-10-30 19:29

RAMALLAH - The recent efforts of US Secretary of State John Kerry has achieved relative calm to the wave of tension between Israel and the Palestinians, especially in east Jerusalem, but his efforts has not yet found a fundamental solution to the crisis, according to analysts.

Analysts stressed that achieving a permanent calm in the area and ensuring a political horizon for the resumption of the stalled peace process need political requirements that help promote a peace process with international sponsorship, aiming at protecting the Palestinians rights and ending the Israeli occupation.

On Saturday, Kerry met separately with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah of Jordan in Amman right after he met in Berlin with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He announced to have reached understandings with Netanyahu on calming the situation in Jerusalem.

Kerry explained that all parties preserve the status quo at al-Aqsa mosque compound, which was the major reason for the outbreak of the flaring wave of violent tension in the Palestinian territories. Some 68 Palestinians and ten Israelis have been killed and hundreds wounded in the violence so far.

Conflict at the site has been escalating because Muslims are upset by non-Muslim visitors and a push to allow Jewish prayer in the compound outside the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Jews revere the site as the Temple Mount and regard it as their holiest site. Muslims call it the Noble Sanctuary, and revere it as their third holiest site, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

Conflict in the spotlight

The visits of Kerry and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the region brought the Israeli-Palestinian conflict back on the agenda of the international community, according to Akram Atallah, a Gaza-based political expert in Middle East conflict.

"Before the outbreak of the current wave of tension, the file of the Palestinian cause was in its lowest priorities on the table of the world, but everyone is intervening right now thanks to the popular uprising that is still going on in the Palestinian territories," said Atallah.

He clarified that the international moves, especially the American one, "have achieved relative calm in the region, especially in Jerusalem," but "the consequences of these moves were not fully welcomed by the Palestinians because it didn't find a fundamental solution to al-Aqsa mosque issue."

The understandings that Kerry claimed to have reached with Israel, the Jordanians and the Palestinians include Israel's reiteration to maintain the status quo of al-Aqsa mosque compound and to prevent Jews from praying at the compound.

Israel announced that it accepted the Jordanian proposal of inserting cameras to monitor the yards of al-Aqsa compounds, which makes sure Israel doesn't seek to change the status quo over there.

Meanwhile, the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations last Friday in Vienna urged Israelis and Palestinians to de-escalate tensions.

In a statement, the quartet expressed "grave concern over the continuing escalation of tensions between Israelis and Palestinians." They condemned the acts of violence on both sides and urged them to restore calm and refrain from provocative rhetoric and actions.

No fundamental solution

Hani Habib, a Gaza-based political analyst, expected that the current tension will go on between calm and escalation, meaning that Palestinians express the protest against Israel but would not escalate into a real serious crisis.

He told Xinhua that "this is because the current wave of tension is driven by individuals."

"I don't think that there is anyone who has the ability to issue instructions to stop this wave of tension completely," said Habib, adding "the only thing needed for the international efforts to end this wave of tension is to find a fundamental solution to the root of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians."

He went on saying that "placing cameras at al-Aqsa mosque compound seem a solution, but it never resolves the main crisis," adding that "an international intervention would guarantee a full protection to al-Aqsa mosque and all other holy sites and also help find a fair solution to the Palestinian cause."

The peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, sponsored by the United States, stopped in April last year after nine months, without achieving any tangible progress.

Sameeh Shbaib, a political analyst from the West Bank, told Xinhua that finding a real and serious treatment to the ongoing tension between Israel and the Palestinians "would need to deeply study the reasons behind it and finding real solutions to end it."

"Calm for the Palestinians is an essential demand and the Palestinians agree to resume the stalled peace negotiations with Israel, but this time with clear agendas and timetables aiming at ending the Israeli occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state," said Shbaib.

He summarized that without an international supervision of the talks, "it would be hard to resume the negotiations with Israel based on the previous rounds," adding that "without a solution that guarantees a better life for the Palestinians, mainly the youths, I believe this tension will be flaring."

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