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Report: Israel Offers PA to Postpone UN Bid for Negotiations

By and VOA News

The Kuwaiti daily Al-Jarida has reported that the Palestinian Authority is considering an Israeli offer to postpone the unilateral statehood bid at the UN for at least one year and to immediately begin negotiations for a permanent peace agreement.

According to the report, which was translated and presented on the website of the Middle East Media Research Institute on Wednesday, the offer was made to the PA during secret negotiations which have been ongoing for several months in various Arab and European countries.

According to the report in the Kuwaiti daily, the negotiations also included meetings between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in which they discussed the possibility of holding a formal meeting between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu promised the U.S. to return to negotiations if an agreement on scheduling was reached.

The report stressed that Netanyahu shared the negotiation details with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and opposition leader Tzipi Livni.

Meanwhile, MEMRI also reported that a website close to Abbas' Fatah party reported that Abbas advisor Nimer Hammad said that if Dennis Ross and David Hale, the U.S. envoys visiting the region, would make offers that meet the PA's demands of halting Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and recognizing a Palestinian state along the 1949 armistice lines, the PA would forgo an appeal to the UN.

The report comes after on Wednesday, the United States formally asked Ramallah to drop its bid for recognition of a PA state based. The request was relayed to Abbas by Hale during a meeting in Ramallah, officials said. The meeting was also attended by Ross and by U.S. Consul-General in Jerusalem, Daniel Rubenstien.

The report also seems to be in line with another report earlier this week which said that Abbas and Barak held a meeting in Amman on August 24. Abbas, who told reporters in Ramallah about the meeting, refused to specify the circumstances behind it and simply said the two `discussed a number of issues.'

However, the Voice of America reported Wednesday that talks between Abbas and US envoys have ended with no apparent shift in a Palestinian plan to seek statehood recognition in the United Nations this month.

The French news agency quoted an Abbas aide as saying differences between the two sides remained "wide" on Wednesday, following talks in the West Bank. U.S. envoys David Hale and Dennis Ross pressed Abbas to return to peace talks with Israel instead of pursuing statehood recognition at the U.N. General Assembly later this month.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland described the consultations as "good" but added the U.S. considers the Palestinian course of action to be "misguided."

Ya'alon: Israel Not on Brink of War


Israel Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon on Wednesday dismissed the notion strong Islamist currents driving the Arab Spring had brought Israel to the brink of war. "There is no all-out-war on our threshold."

Ya'alon, a former IDF Chief of Staff, stressed. "We cannot talk of an Arab coalition. The Arab countries are currently occupied with issues within and have no time to deal with Israel."

Tuesday started off with an all-out-war – according to the IDF commander of the Home Front Command, the day continued with the Turkish prime minister's remarks on severing trade ties with Israel, which was later clarified with a statement explaining that he was referring to defense industry trade which has no significant volume as it is; in the background September tsunami is looming. Naturally, the stock market is sliding – not only because of these events but also because of global declines.

"When we talk about the events unfolding around us, the changes pose no threat to Israel, neither in the short term nor the mid term. What is happening around us is that young people are being exposed to the real word whereas until now they were cut off form the word by totalitarian regimes. Hafez Assad banned cell phones and internet in Syria. He must have seen the world. This wave cannot be contained," Ya'alon said.

"The shockwaves present an opportunity for radical elements to try and step into the picture and wreak havoc. The West must do all in its power to help moderate elements rise and prevail over radical elements in the Arab world. Israel will not be affected in the short and mid term; however, we are exposed to the threats on part of terrorist elements which are trying to capitalize on the situation and of course, in the long run there are Iran's nuclear aspirations.

"Looking closely at the Arab Spring uprising, one cannot maintain that the uprisings will have only a negative affect on Israel. The situation in Syria which has reached a point of no return may perhaps smash the axis of evil. Insofar as the event in Egypt, is the radical elements in the country are not neutralized Egypt will have a hard time working out of the crisis – this will pose a challenge for any President who is elected.

Ya'alon's remarks were unusual in that he singled out IDF Home Front Command chief Maj. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg - who said Monday he believed the 'Arab Spring' may lead to an 'Islamic Winter,' increasing the likelihood Israel would find itself at war - for rebuttal.

However, on May 31, 2011, Ya'alon said that the civilized world must take joint action to avert the Iranian nuclear threat, and that action should include a pre-emptive strike if necessary. Ya'alon made the comments in an interview with Russia's Interfax news agency, ahead of his visit to Moscow.

"We strongly hope that the entire civilized world will come to realize what threat this regime is posing and take joint action to avert the nuclear threat posed by Iran, even if it would be necessary to conduct a pre-emptive strike," Interfax quoted Ya'alon as saying.

Though he would not discuss who might deal the strike, he stressed that the entire world and not just Israel, must be concerned about the danger posed by a nuclear-armed Iran.

Viagra Reaches Royal Pinnacle


Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah was still using Viagra pills at the grand old age of 92, according to a classified US State Department document published by WikiLeaks this week. According to a telegram sent from the American embassy in Riyadh on July 13, 2008, the king is also about 10 years older than what was previously assumed.

The telegram was based on information provided by a Western medical source that had frequent contact with members of the Saudi royal family. According to the telegram, this source arrived in Saudi Arabia in order to examine one of King Abdullah's four wives, but received the king's medical file by mistake.

According to the file, King Abdullah was born in 1916. Even though he was 92 at the time, the report noted that he was still a heavy smoker, received hormone shots regularly, and was using Viagra.

The telegram noted that the Saudi royal family always made sure not to provide information about the king's medical condition or age. The US embassy added that according to past estimates, King Abdullah's age was in the 82-87 range. However, if the newly released figures are correct, he is much older than previously assumed.

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