PA negotiators resign from talks: Mahmoud Abbas
Iran Press TV
Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:48PM GMT
The acting Palestinian Authority chief, Mahmoud Abbas, says his negotiators have resigned from US-brokered talks with Israelis over Tel Aviv's ongoing settlement construction.
On Wednesday, Abbas said his negotiators have resigned over the lack of progress in the US-brokered talks as a result of continued construction of illegal settlements by Israel.
Palestinian and Israeli negotiators began a fresh round of talks in July. Previous talks between Palestinians and Israel broke down in September 2010 after Tel Aviv refused to freeze its settlement activities in the occupied West Bank.
The acting PA chief, however, said the negotiations will continue even if the Palestinian negotiators stuck to their decision.
Since the resumption of the so-called peace talks, Israel has announced plans for building several thousands of new settler units in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
A senior PA authority official said last week that there will be no direct talks with Israel if it keeps on expanding illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
'The Israeli side is determined to continue its settlement [construction] and we cannot continue negotiations under these unprecedented settlement attacks,' said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, following a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.
Last month, a large number of Palestinians from different political movements took to the streets of the West Bank city of Ramallah to call on the PA to pull out of the talks with Israel.
The protesters said the talks are useless and Abbas must withdraw from the negotiations.
They also demanded the PA to take the regime in Tel Aviv to the International Criminal Court for its crimes against the people of Palestine.
The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts made to establish peace in the Middle East.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.
The United Nations and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.
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