Palestine blames Israel for deadlock in peace talks

Ramallah, Oct 2 (IANS) Israel brought the peace talks to a deadlock by not halting settlements cosntruction, a Palestinian official has said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address at the UN General Assembly did not bring anything new, Nemer Hammad, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said on Thursday.

“There will be no resumption of peace talks before the complete halt of Israeli settlement and without the release of the prisoners,” Xinhua news agency quoted Hammad as saying.

Hammad was responding to Netanyahu’s remarks in his UN address where he called on the Palestinians to unconditionally resume the stalled peace negotiations.

“How can we talk about two states while settlement is going on,” Hammad said, adding, “Netanyahu did not even refer to the American initiative.”

“Israel made the American initiative a failing in spite of the attempts of US Secretary of State John Kerrey because Israel refused to release the fourth group of prisoners that was agreed upon,” he said.

The peace talks between Israel and Palestine stopped in March last year after nine months of effort sponsored by the US. The talks stopped without achieving any progress.

“Netanyahu said he decided to freeze settlement within a certain period of time, but all what he said lets get back to the talks without preconditions and without halting settlement,” said Hammad.

Abbas’s aide also slammed Netanyahu for speaking about what happens in Jerusalem. “Instead of carrying out actions to stop what happens in Jerusalem, he (Netanyahu) insisted that he won’t change his policy.”

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