Palestinian negotiators quit in protest

Israel's "escalation of settlement-building" blamed for resignations, which President Abbas has yet to accept.

    Palestinians say Israeli settlement building impedes efforts to create a viable state [Reuters]
    Palestinians say Israeli settlement building impedes efforts to create a viable state [Reuters]

    The entire Palestinian negotiating team has resigned due to what they say is continued Israeli settlement building and frustrations over the lack of progress in US-brokered peace talks.

    Mohamed Shtayyeh, a Palestinian negotiator, said President Mahmoud Abbas had yet to accept the team's resignation.

    Israel is "completely responsible for the failure of negotiations, because of the continuation and escalation of settlement-building", Shtayyeh told AFP news agency.

    In an interview with Egypt's CBC television, Abbas said negotiations towards a peace agreement with Israel would continue even without the current negotiating team.

    "Either we can convince it to return, and we're trying with them, or we form a new delegation," Abbas said.

    Another negotiator, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, confirmed the Palestinian resignations.

    "Abbas has a number of choices here - he can refuse or accept and form a new delegation, or demand a new negotiations mechanism," he said, referring to the potential to go back to indirect talks through a US team.

    Direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators began in July, but have been plagued by problems and have made little headway.

    Palestinians say Israeli settlements impede efforts to create a viable, Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

    Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, announced earlier this week that he would reassess plans to build 24,000 new settlement homes.

    The move came amid Israeli lobbying efforts to stop a nuclear deal between world powers and Iran.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.