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EL TOQUE

FARC Rebels End Ceasefire With Colombian Government

EL ESPECTADOR, EL MUNDO, EL TIEMPO(Colombia)

Worldcrunch

BOGOTA- Colombia's FARC rebels have announced the end of a two-month unilateral ceasefire after the Colombian government refused to join the truce.

Photo: FARC flag via Wikipedia

The FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, declared the ceasefire when peace talks with the government began on Nov. 19 in Havana, Cuba – giving the Colombian government two months to join the truce.

Ivan Marquez, the FARC lead negociator, told reporters that “with pain in our hearts, we have to accept a return to the stage of warfare between the two sides which is something that nobody in the country wants," reports El Mundo.

President Juan Manuel Santos warned the rebels against resuming violence and said: "Terrorist acts are cowardly acts because they don't fight against soldiers or members of the police force, they inflict damage on civil society," according to El Tiempo.

El Espectador reports that several incidents during the ceasefire period shows that some FARC members did not obey the truce and makes it clear that the leaders, including negotiator Ivan Marquez, do not have complete control over their men.

Between Nov. 20 and Dec. 17 2012 there were 57 incidents that involved civilians and a demand was issued to the group "to abide by the rules of international humanitarian law" by the national ombudsman Jorge Armando Otalora.

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Geopolitics

Utter Pessimism, What Israelis And Palestinians Share In Common

Right now, according to a joint survey of Israelis and Palestinians, hopes for a peaceful solution of coexistence simply don't exist. The recent spate of violence is confirmation of the deepest kind of pessimism on both sides for any solution other than domination of the other.

An old Palestinian protester waves Palestinian flag while he confronts the Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Beit Dajan near the West Bank city of Nablus.

A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the West Bank village of Beit Dajan on Jan. 6.

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Just before the latest outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, a survey of public opinion among the two peoples provided a key to understanding the current situation unfolding before our eyes.

It was a joint study, entitled "Palestinian-Israeli Pulse", carried out by two research centers, one Israeli, the other Palestinian, which for years have been regularly asking the same questions to both sides.

The result is disastrous: not only is the support for the two-state solution — Israel and Palestine side by side — at its lowest point in two decades, but there is now a significant share of opinion on both sides that favors a "non-democratic" solution, i.e., a single state controlled by either the Israelis or Palestinians.

This captures the absolute sense of pessimism commonly felt regarding the chances of the two-state option ever being realized, which currently appears to be our grim reality today. But the results are also an expression of the growing acceptance on both sides that it is inconceivable for either state to live without dominating the other — and therefore impossible to live in peace.

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