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Congress Endorses 'Direct Negotiations' between Israel and the P.A.


JERUSALEM, Israel – The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) applauded Congress for Tuesday's bill reaffirming U.S. support for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and rejecting any U.N. Security Council mandates seeking to impose an external resolution.
"It is the long-standing policy of the United States government that a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only come through direct, bilateral negotiations between the two parties," the press release quoted the legislation.
The bill warns against "any widespread international recognition of a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood outside the context of a peace agreement with Israel," while urging the United States "to oppose and veto United Nations Security Council resolutions that seek to impose solutions to final status issues or are one-sided and anti-Israel.
The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Ed Royce, R-Ca., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Eliot Engel, D-NY, a ranking member of the committee, further states that "efforts to impose a solution or parameters for a solution can make negotiations more difficult and can set back the cause of peace."
It also urges the U.S. government "to support and facilitate the resumption of negotiations without preconditions between Israelis and Palestinians toward a sustainable peace agreement," in essence reiterating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's long-standing invitation to P.A. officials.
Meanwhile, at the U.N.'s annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, outgoing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the international community to keep up the pressure to reach an agreement that's "threatening to slip out of reach."
Despite the P.A.'s rejection of direct talks and its demand that Israel accept the pre-1967 armistice lines, re-divide Jerusalem and flood a truncated Jewish state with millions of Palestinian "refugees" – all essentially non-starters for Israel – Ban says the stalemated talks have "strengthened radicals and weakened moderates on both sides."
Israeli U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon said the U.N.'s anti-Israel bias should be rejected, not embraced.
"Every year on this date this chamber holds this same cynical, Israel-bashing festival," Danon said. "Every year we hear speaker after speaker distorting history and promoting a completely one-sided narrative."

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