No breakthrough in Israel-PA talks: Official


The Palestinian Authority (PA) says the latest round of US-mediated talks with the Israeli regime has ended with no breakthrough.

A Palestinian official made the remarks on condition of anonymity on Sunday after PA and Israeli negotiators held talks with the US envoy, Martin Indyk, in a three-way meeting in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

“Israel is preparing to return to routine dealings with the Palestinians as they were before the negotiations started nine months ago,” the official said.

Hours before Sunday’s meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to take unilateral measures against the PA, unless it dropped plans to seek membership in UN organizations.

Last Palestinian-Israeli talks had broken down in September 2010 after Tel Aviv refused to freeze its settlement activities in the occupied West Bank.

The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts 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 Convention, which forbids construction on occupied lands.