Young kids hurling stones at army tanks, stifling curfews, incongruous checkpoints and an unrelenting settlement activity...The visualization of the word 'Palestine' is unlikely to change any time soon. Fathers would still have to carry children on their shoulders to protest against the army incursions while their mothers rally in support of people forced out as a result of expanding settlements.
The peace talks have been officially stalled, the latest of the news reports suggest. But observers maintain that the dialogue had indeed failed.
The talks are in crisis, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday blaming it on Israel's refusal to stop building settlements on occupied land.
Palestinian Authority (PA) earlier last month urged the Israelis to choose peace over settlements. The calls seem unheard as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's right-wing government in Israel refused to halt any settlement activity. With the dialogue now rendered ineffective, the PA will be forced to look at healthier alternatives.
The Obama administration on Tuesday suspended its demand for Israel to renew a moratorium on Jewish settlement activity in West Bank, and east Jerusalem. Over the past few months, the Knesset strongly resisted Washington's continual demand, undermining US's hold in the region. President Barack Obama, who was expected to put pressure on Israel, was rather subdued by the Jewish state's defiance.
We have been pursuing a moratorium as a means to create conditions for a return to meaningful and sustained negotiations, Philip Crowley, the state department spokesman, told reporters.
After a considerable effort, we have concluded that this does not create a firm basis to work towards our shared goal of a framework agreement, Crowley said.
The calls for a settlement freeze came after the Palestinians stated that recognizing the state of Palestine should be on the 1967 lines. PA maintained that talks could be resumed if the Israeli government shuns its policies of 'land-grabs and settlement activities.'
Tuesday's announcement by US enraged the PA, forcing the group to shift tactics to formulate a responsive support from the international community.
Instead of declaring Israel responsible for the talks' failure, the American administration is giving the Israelis an opportunity to waste more time by calling for the renewal of the talks, Yasser Abed Rabbo, Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee told reporters on Wednesday.
We must turn to the broader framework of the international community, he added.
Will UN support Palestine?
PA in the recent months maintained that if Washington fails to force Israel to halt West Bank construction by the end of November, they would approach the United Nations Security Council to recognize an independent state of Palestine within 1967 borders. The organization also warned of dissolving the authority itself and handing over the responsibility of Palestinian territories to the UN.
Over the past few days, Latin American countries of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay declared that they officially recognize the Palestinian state. The move could be a confidence booster and when coupled with a categorical backing by the Arab regimes in the Middle East, could encourage the PA to launch broader appeal to the rest of the world.
But, it is improbable that Israel would not counter any such attempts. The Jewish state, on Tuesday, attacked the Latin Americans for their recognition of a Palestinian state, calling it highly damaging interference.
They never made any contribution to it ... and now they're making a decision that is completely contrary to everything that has been agreed so far, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.
Calling it absurd, Israel also warned that's any country that will follow suit risked creating more confusion in the conflict zone.
Speaking to the Army radio, Danny Ayalon, Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister, said: It (the recognition) merely encourages the Palestinians to keep digging in and hoping the miracle will somehow descend from the heavens or from the international community.
But the concluding words of the deputy foreign minister possibly holds the key to finding a solution to end the Palestinian woes.
What is important is that the Americans don't accept this (Palestinian statehood) either, he declared.
Any attempts made by the Palestinians which are not in favor of the Israelis would be vetoed by the Americans. It would rather be unrealistic for Washington to abandon their Jewish friends. Optimistic as it sounds, peace is feasible only if the Americans, affronted by Israel, dramatically shift their foreign policy and support the Arabs on Palestine.