اجعلنا صفحة البداية RSS خدمة Add to favorite Facebook Twitter

Advanced

PA: Israel settlements led to peace talks impasse
Published Friday 21/03/2014 (updated) 23/03/2014 12:19
Font- Font+
Palestinians wave their national flag on March 20, 2014, in the West
Bank city of Ramallah (AFP/Abbas Momani)
RAMALLAH (AFP) -- US-sponsored peace talks with Israel have reached an impasse because of Jewish settlement activity, a Palestinian spokesman said, as plans for over 2,000 West Bank units were moved forward.

The latest crisis comes as Washington scrambles for a formula to allow the Palestinians and Israelis to carry on the peace talks beyond an April 29 deadline.

"Israel's settlement activity caused the negotiations to fail and led them to an impasse," Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, told AFP.

Abu Rudeina was reacting to the decision of an Israeli defense ministry committee, revealed earlier on Thursday, to push forward with plans to build 2,269 new West Bank homes.

A ministry spokesman said last month the committee had approved the building of 1,015 units in Leshem, Beit El and Almog, leaving Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon's approval as the final step.

The same committee approved 1,254 units in Ariel, Shvut Rachel and Shavei Shomron. Those projects will be published in the media for public comment before returning to the committee for further discussion.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are teetering on the brink of collapse, with Washington fighting an uphill battle to get the two sides to agree to a framework proposal to extend the negotiations to the year's end.

US concerned

A US State Department spokeswoman, Jennifer Psaki, said that Secretary of State John Keryy had "expressed his concerns" to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu about recent remarks by Yaalon disparaging the United States' negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.

She added that, given the nearing deadline of April 29 for the Israeli-Palestinian talks, "we are not surprised that there has been an increase in rhetoric over the past couple of weeks given where we are in the process and the pivotal period. But we're just going to keep our head down and focused on the process."

So far, the Palestinians have flatly refused to consider any extension, partly over Israel's persistent settlement construction which has shown no let-up since talks resumed last July.

Israeli anti-settlement watchdog Peace Now said the planned new units would create "facts on the ground that distance us from the two-state solution."

They were further proof that Israel had "no intention to reach a peace agreement and was doing everything it could to force Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas out of the process."

On Wednesday, a municipal committee gave final approval for plans to build 186 new homes in annexed Arab east Jerusalem.

Another stumbling block to the prospect of extending talks is the impending release of Palestinian prisoners.

Israeli ministers have warned that should the Palestinians not agree to extend talks, they will not release a fourth and final group of inmates as scheduled on March 29.

Israel agreed to release a total of 104 prisoners when talks kick-started by US Secretary of State John Kerry began last July.

Earlier this month, Abbas said Palestinians will not agree to extend peace talks unless Israel agrees to release more prisoners.

He demanded in talks with US President Barack Obama on Monday that Israel free key Palestinian prisoners, according to the Palestinian prisoner club.

Abbas referred to Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader Ahmad Saadat, former Palestinian Liberation Organization finance official Fuad Shubaki and Marwan Barghuti, an architect of the 2000 intifada.

A visiting EU parliamentary delegation on Thursday urged Israel to release long-term Palestinian prisoners, saying it was crucial to move the fragile peace process forward.
Print
1 ) Outlier / USA
22/03/2014 04:04
The PA should consider statehood the carrot and settlements the stick. It must move expeditiously towards the former to avoid more of the latter.

2 ) What about the CURVATURE of / THE EARTH??
22/03/2014 11:07
didn't it too, contribute to the collapse of the talks? How is the floor in the MUQ'ATAA?!

3 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
22/03/2014 17:15
The bottom line is that settlements are just a convenient excuse for the Palestinians to back out of the talks. Signing a peace treaty would resolve the issue of settlements (my guess is that lots of settlements would be shut down, while others remain as per Jimmy Carter's comments during his visit to the west bank a few years ago). However, the Palestinians can't sign a peace treaty, so they'll simply make excuses, of which they have 1001.

4 ) ian / australia
23/03/2014 01:46
#3 "The bottom line is that settlements are just a convenient excuse for the Palestinians to back out of the talks." What does that even mean, Brian? Why would the Palestinians want to "back out of talks"? Why is that their ulterior plan? Yes, "signing a peace treaty would resolve the issue..." but accepting Israel's terms, the one-time, non-negotiable offer in which the Palestinians void ALL claims to East Jerusalem, inc. the Haram and the shrines, Jordan Valley, ALL but some miniscule

5 ) ian / australia
23/03/2014 01:47
(contd.) far-flung outposts (Israel would clearly retain Leshem, Beit El and Almog) and the legal right to return to the homes they were driven from...would be national suicide. It would mean a state in three disconnected, blockaded enclaves: Gaza and the WB cut in two by an extended E1...with soldiers along the Jordan. It would be a state born in abject defeat, demoralised from the start, born to fail, in a fraction of the ancient home and with a heartbreaking view from the capital in Abu Dis

6 ) ian / australia
23/03/2014 01:51
(contd.) of the Golden Dome and the grey dome of al-Aqsa a MILE away, IN Israel. THAT'S the offer on the table which the Palestinians could accept anytime by signing a "peace treaty" but it falls so far short of what they're ENTITLED to in terms of their RIGHTS and international law, they'd be INSANE to do it. So why would Palestinians want to prolong "negotiating" for that? And why do they need "excuses" to reject something so manifestly unjust?
Name Country
Comment
Characters
Note: Comments will be reviewed for appropriate content. Click here for more details.

Share/Bookmark

Israel extends detention of 51 Palestinian prisoners
Palestinians slowly return to familiar routines in Gaza
Gaza fishermen reap rewards as restrictions eased

Close Next Previous
All Rights Reserved © Ma'an News Agency 2005 - 2014