The Israelis and Palestinians have resumed their dialogue, with security at the top of the agenda. Israel’s Defence Minister will be meeting the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, in the coming days in a sign that the level of contacts will rise as confidence builds; at least that seems to be the plan, as long as events do not blow talks off course.
That is what happened in Tel Aviv on February 25 when a suicide bomber silenced the dialogue that only resumed on Sunday. The two sides have now been engaged in several weeks of talks following Abbas’s election but there is little to show for them, above all on the transfer of power to the Palestinian Authority of five towns in the West Bank under Israeli army occupation. That may be about to change with the Palestinians saying the Israeli army is to hand over Tulkarm tomorrow, but the Israelis say no timetable for the pullout has been decided yet.