Abbas: I won't resume talks until building freeze renewed

PA president says "whole world" is saying settlement moratorium must continue, why can't I?; Education Minister claims Palestinians prefer to adopt de-legitimization strategies rather than conduct peace talks.

Abbas at Arab League 311 AP (photo credit: AP)
Abbas at Arab League 311 AP
(photo credit: AP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas once again reiterated that he will not resume peace talks until Israel renews its settlement moratorium.
In an interview broadcast Sunday evening on Channel 1 Abbas said, "When Obama became president he was the one who declared that the 'settlement construction must be stopped.' The United States says it, Europe is says it, the whole world is saying it – why should I not say it?"
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Abbas said that there is worldwide consensus regarding the construction freeze.
Abbas told interviewer Oded Granot "when we went to Annapolis, everyone who was present – more than 50 states – said that settlement building must be stopped. At the same time, President Bush said 'we shall carry out this mission and supervise it. We shall create a freeze committee to supervise the construction freeze in settlements.' We relied on Bush's statement and went ahead with negotiations."
The Palestinian Authority president said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had explained to him that he could not comply with demands to extend the freeze. "Netanyahu told me: 'I cannot under any circumstance because I fear for my government.' Government is not more precious than peace. Government is not more precious that the future of both peoples," Abbas said.
Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar (Likud) also commented on the direct negotiations on Sunday and said that "the Palestinian Authority prefers to adopt strategies that aim to de-legitimize Israel and isolate it to the world instead of conducting peace talks."
Sa'ar also warned that anti-Semitsm was again rearing its ugly head in Europe and in the world.