Thursday, September 9, 2010

Peace Summit in Hebron

Last week, on the same day that the leaders gathered in Washington to resume direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and deliver festive speeches in front of TV cameras, there were contacts between Israelis and Palestinians also in Hebron. Israeli soldiers arrived at the home of the Palestinian Salayma Family on the city's outskirts and handed over to the family father Salem Salayma a legal decree, properly signed by the lawfully authorized military commander, stating that the family home was required by the Israeli Defense Forces for urgent security reasons, until further notice.

The army was not too tough, and gracefully allowed Salayma family - ten adults and four children – to continue living at the lower part of the house. Only the top floor and roof were taken over by the soldiers, who quickly set up firing positions on the roof and embarked on military training in the garden. But next week the family will have to further squeeze themselves, as the army' security needs require a further expansion of the military presence in their home.

Meanwhile, unofficial news came of the creative plans formulated by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. It is the Prime Minister's intention to hold accelerated negotiations so as to reach within a year a framework agreement with the Palestinians, it being understood that actual implementation of the agreement would take about thirty years. So, the Salayma Family will have to make do for thirty-one years at the most.