Seriously, pups, the Peace Farce is officially over…
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have no immediate plans to hold new talks, after the Palestinian negotiating team offered its resignation in protest of Israeli settlement plans.
A PLO official told Ma’an on Wednesday that the US-brokered talks were suspended in practice, with no date set for a new round of negotiations.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that President Mahmoud Abbas would attempt to coax his two senior negotiators into returning but it was unclear if they would.
The negotiators, Saeb Erekat and Muhammad Shtayyeh, tendered their resignations last week after Israel announced plans to step up settlement construction in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.
On Wednesday, Abbas told Egyptian CBC television that he would keep negotiating with Israel even if the officials declined to rejoin the talks.
“Either we can convince it to return, and we’re trying with them, or we form a new delegation,” he said, according to Reuters.
Reuters TV quoted Erekat as confirming the talks were frozen.
“In reality, the negotiations stopped last week in light of the settlement announcements last week,” he said.
From the UN…
A senior United Nations official today voiced his growing concern at the series of settlement announcements made by Israel over the past weeks and stressed the need to avoid actions that negatively impact ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
“At this sensitive moment, it is imperative to avoid negative actions and support ongoing talks to preserve the remaining chances of achieving a two-State solution in the interest of Israelis and Palestinians alike,” said a statement issued by the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, who also voiced his deep concern at recent violent incidents.
On Tuesday, Israel reportedly announced plans to build 20,000 new settler homes in the West Bank, prompting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to threaten an end to peace talks that resumed a few months ago after a three-year hiatus.
The statement by Mr. Serry noted that settlement activity cannot be reconciled with the goal of a negotiated two-State solution, and reiterated the UN position that settlements are against international law and an obstacle to peace.
Against this backdrop, the Special Coordinator met today separately with the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.
“He understands from his discussion with chief negotiator [Tzipi] Livni and other Israeli officials that yesterday’s decision to plan a large number of settlement units has been stopped,” said the statement.
Direct talks between the Israeli and Palestinian sides resumed this past August, after stalling in 2010 owing to Israel’s refusal to extend its freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory.
I very much doubt that ‘sudden’ reversal in Bibi’s settlement schemes…
A day after forcing the Construction and Housing Ministry to “reconsider” preliminary work toward building 24,000 housing units beyond the Green Line, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that building in settlements would continue, but had to be done wisely.
“In recent months, we built thousands of homes in Judea and Samaria, and in the coming months we plan to build thousands more,” Netanyahu said in a Knesset debate on housing prices. “It was never easy, but we did it responsibly despite international pressure.”
Continuing along with Bibi’s perfidy…