Monday, April 11, 2011

Peres defends against Prince reprisal attacks on Gaza

True to his image of a dove with claws of steel, the president of Israel, Shimon Peres, defended last night at the Prince of Asturias Israeli army shelling on the Gaza Strip. "The State of Israel does everything necessary and will continue to defend the security of its citizens and to end terrorism," Peres said at the official dinner offered to guests at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

Although the confrontation between Hamas and Israel has taken a breather in the last hours, the Israeli leader used the occasion to complain that hundreds of thousands of citizens of their country are exposed to the rockets and mortar shells fired from the strip and a 16 year old still serious attack on a school bus last Thursday.

"The entire international community should stand against a terrorist attack against civilians and condemn it unequivocally," snapped his guest. He ignored the fact that 19 Palestinians have been killed and 70 wounded in Israeli reprisal operations. The Prince did not refer to the latest escalation of violence, but called for perseverance in the pursuit of an agreement allowing "the coexistence of Israel and all neighboring Arab states, including Palestine, in terms of harmony, security and full recognition of the legitimacy of the other.

" To take for granted their existence, but Philip did not anticipate the decision of the Spanish Government should take after the summer: the recognition of a Palestinian state. Spain, diplomatic sources said, wants this recognition is carried out under an agreement with Israel or, at least, with its EU partners.

If even this were possible, since Germany is opposed to any unilateral move, Spain would go forward if a "critical mass" of European countries are ready. The recognition of a Palestinian state is not itself controversial. Peres himself said yesterday that the solution of "two states for two peoples" is shared by almost all political forces in their country.

The controversial are the parameters of this new state: the 1967 borders, the capital in East Jerusalem and the right of return of refugees. The Palestinians hope the recognition will serve to put pressure on Israel and Israelis do not want to talk about it until a peace agreement. So, Don Felipe Peres asked when they would resume negotiations broken off in September and offered him the good offices of Spain as a mediator.

"Spain has always been and will remain available to the parties to bring about greater mutual understanding, in full cooperation with the European Union and other international actors," he said, recalling that this year marks two decades of the Peace Conference Madrid. Princes today will become the first members of the Spanish Royal Family to visit Palestine.

Yesterday was the second step on Israel, where they were the Kings in 1993. European ruling families avoid this troubled region, but the Spanish monarchy is aware that has a historical relationship with Arabs and Jews care. And both the former and appreciate the gesture. The heir to the throne was received at the residence of Israeli President honors of Head of State, except the military.

A dozen schoolchildren sang the traditional song of welcome ("Peace be with us") and three of them, who lived in Spain until a year ago, delivered a bouquet to Princess Letizia, wearing white suit jacket. 60 kilometers from Jerusalem, Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv, the Prince met in the evening a very different Israel: the modernity and high technology.

After touring an exhibition of digital design, in which an institute collaborates Catalan, English mingled with students and researchers. "You are the best reason for optimism, the best representatives of a promising future," said Philip. But even on campus there were young in military uniform and rifle at the ready, as evidence that Israel is a country in a permanent state of war.

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