Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Land swaps can help solve conflict in Middle East

ISRAEL is being blamed for the current escalation in the Middle East, although it is Hamas that started the conflict.

The Arab world is in turmoil, but the engine that drives it is powered not by the Israel-Palestine dispute, but by Sunni-Shiite sectarianism.

What better way to shift the focus to Israel than to attack her with rockets, thereby forcing her to respond?

Israel, however, instead of escalating, should channel its rage towards finding a peaceful solution, whose framework has now existed for several years.

This involves land swap, whereby the Palestinians cede their claims to the larger Israeli settlements, in return for which Israel would surrender territory in predominantly Arab areas.

It is a pity that, although this proposal has been on the table for many years, President Mahmoud Abbas, instead of signing the proposal, chose to build bridges with Hamas, thereby sowing the seeds for the current conflict.

RANDHIR BAINS

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