Palestinians also need security
Palestine, Analysis, 10/27/1997
The diplomatic highlight of US special envoy Dennis Ross's last trip to Jerusalem was his brokering of last Tuesday's meeting between Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Defense Minister Yitzak Mordechai.
Arafat and Mordechai, along with Dennis Ross, entered talks at Beit Hanun on the Palestinian side of the Erez Crossing between Israel and the Gaza strip, joined by a large contingent of top Palestinian and Israeli security chiefs.
The talks aimed to "give a breath of life" to interim negotiations, which were resumed three weeks ago but have run into trouble, mainly over security issues. Before the announcement of the meeting, senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Ross was keeping the peace process going despite Israel.
"The main things discussed were coordination and integration in the security sphere," said Mordechai. Arafat agrees: "We were able to review a wide range of security issues and concerns." As for the 36 other unresolved "interim" issues still outstanding between the two sides, the talks will continue.
It is clear that Arafat wants the talks between his men and Israelis to continue. But the results of these talks, perhaps, should come in the future. Both sides say, "Security is the first priority." Indeed security is a crucial and elaborate issue for both Palestinians and Israelis, but its meaning should not be confined to combating violence.
The true meaning of security is far broader and much deeper that personal safety, which can be protected by police or other measures. Security is not an exclusive concern of one state or one society, especially if they live in the same country like Israelis and Palestinians. Peace needs noble people to work for it, and to let it happen.
It is too precious and too important a goal for all in the region.
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