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Time to Demand Durable Arab-Israeli Peace Pact
Beirut in Lebanon

Sharjah, UAE (WAM)- The present crises in Lebanon and Palestine offer an opportunity to reach a just and fair peace accord in the region, argues a local English language daily.

" Serious and determined action should be undertaken that would do away with any reason for similar crises to reoccur. The way to that goal is only through a just and fair Arab-Israeli peace agreement," commented The Gulf Today in an editorial on July 19.

It said the Arabs, with help from friendly countries, should work towards pressuring the world not only to take first steps on the long way but also to ensure that the international community remains with them all along. The present, it added, crises offer an opportunity to do so.

The Sharjah-based newspaper noted that the conflicting signals Israel was sending about its intentions towards Palestine and Hizbollah should not be confusing at all to anyone.

"Military sources talking about ending the offensive in Lebanon by end of this week as well as reports of preparations for a long drawn-out conflict are all deliberately placed with a view to allowing Israel to achieve its objective of demolishing organised resistance to its designs...

"One thing is clear: Israel does not have any plans to reoccupy the Gaza Strip or set up a military presence in the Lebanese territory. On both counts, Israel would be the loser." Israel's objective, the paper suggests, is to apply as much pressure as possible with a view to cornering Hizbollah, both politically and militarily, and forcing it to release the two captive Israeli soldiers. The same applies to the Palestinian Hamas group, it added.

In the paper's view neither Hizbollah nor Hamas is willing to allow that to happen because they are aware that the outcome of the present conflicts would determine the course of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

"A perceived triumph for Hizbollah — Israel agreeing to negotiate a prisoner exchange — would boost Hamas and other Palestinian groups waging armed resistance in Palestine, and this would mean a hardening of positions in any future scenario.

"On the other hand, Hizbollah succumbing to Israeli and Western pressure would weaken Palestinian resistance, and that is what the Jewish state is aiming for at this point in time." The Arabs, the newspaper argues, have to take decisive action in order to ensure that the outcome of the ongoing crises would not be tailored to suit Israeli interests and would instead lead to a collective international awakening to the reality that enough is enough in the Middle East.






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