“Peace talks” will evidently begin on Thursday in Washington, but Prime Minister Netanyahu and Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen ) will surely be discussing the same four issues that were on the table in 2000.

If Yasser Arafat could not accept any compromise, then why would President Obama think Abu Mazen, whose legitimate term of office ended in January 2009 and who controls far less territory and far fewer Palestinians, can compromise now?

What will the President do if the talks fail and increased violence is again the result? And the Palestinians warn they will stop the talks, if we begin building again in the territories.

We agreed to stop for 10 months, but these have almost passed by, and the time was wasted, no talks during all this period – I wonder why?

Now for something “good” for a change. UNIFIL released its findings Wednesday of its investigation into the shooting incident earlier this month between the IDF and Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) along the northern border and came to the conclusion that the Israeli forces did not cross the international border as the Lebanese had claimed.

This is a “first” for us, so far they have always blamed Israel for all misdeeds.

The Gazans never stop weapon smuggling. Egyptian authorities intercepted a shipment of 190 antiaircraft missiles in Sinai surely destined for Gaza on Saturday, Palestinian News Agency Maan reported.

According to the report, the authorities raided several storage areas in the area and discovered the ammunition hidden in a remote region in the center of the Sinai peninsula.

In addition to the antiaircraft missiles, rockets and other ammunition, they also seized a large supply of illegal drugs. Reports also stated that authorities raided several locations in Rafah, where they found more stores of explosives and weapons.

Israel and Egypt have maintained a tough blockade of Gaza since Hamas seized power in June 2007, and the hundreds of tunnels in the Rafah area are the main entry point for many basic items, as well as weapons. Egypt also seems to fear the Hamas group.

And now to end here are a few lines which might interest nature lovers. A great stork migration is upon us.

Thirty-one thousand storks flew down the country to rest in the Negev and around the Dead Sea on Tuesday, before heading to their winter homes in eastern Africa.

“Tuesday was the first day of the height of the migration, “Jonathan Meyrav, survey director and project manager for the Israel Ornithological Society said. The society is part of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI).

“This was the first big day of the height of the migration. For the next week to 10 days, we’re likely to see a lot of storks flying by,” he said. ” The migration will likely take six weeks since starting in early August.

All told, 350,000 are expected to fly over the country from north to south in that time.  That’s a lot of storks :-)

Enough for today. Shalom from Irene

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