Thursday, December 9, 2010

US drops demand for Israeli settlement freeze

PressTV - US drops demand for Israeli settlement freeze:

"Rana Kamal, Press TV, al-Quds

The United States admitted that it had failed to convince Israel to renew the partial settlement freeze in the West bank.

The news did not come as a surprise to the Palestinians.

The Obama administration has been unable to bring the sides back to negotiations since Israel ended a 10-month partial freeze on settlement expansion in late September.

The Palestinian Authority says settlement freeze is a precondition for their return to direct talks and that they will not negotiate while settlements eat up the land they want for a future independent state.

The direct talks resumed in Washington in September after a break of almost two years, but broke down just weeks later over the settlements.

In a last ditch effort to save the direct talks, US officials are expected to meet with Israeli and Palestinian Authority representatives this week. Some in the Palestinian Authority say they have yet to decide if they will go to Washington.

But US secretary Hilary Clinton has confirmed talks will be attended by acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Washington says it will continue to work with both sides and hopes their meeting will prove successful.

The Palestinians meanwhile are considering a unilateral declaration of statehood, perhaps by requesting resolutions from the United Nations General Assembly or Security Council.
This idea has gained currency after Brazil and Argentina announced they will recognize a free and independent Palestinian state. Uruguay has said it will announce it recognition early next year.

newsupload2010 | December 09, 2010

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