PA: We’ll end talks if no progress within 2 weeks

Abbas says Palestinians won't renew negotiations unless Israel stops settlement construction, agrees to 2-state solution.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas_311 (photo credit: Reuters)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas_311
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Palestinian Authority threatened Thursday to pull out from the Jordanian-sponsored talks with Israel if no progress is achieved by January 26.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas told Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store that the Palestinians are prepared to resume direct peace negotiations with Israel once the Israeli government halts construction in the settlements and east Jerusalem and accepts the two-state solution.
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A PA official in Ramallah said that Abbas briefed the Norwegian minister on the outcome of the last two meetings in Amman between PLO and Israeli officials.
According to the official, Abbas stressed that unless Israel accepted the two Palestinian demands, he would not agree to the resumption of the direct talks.
Abbas said that the talks in Jordan would continue with the hope of narrowing the gap between the two sides before January 26, when the three-month deadline set by members of the Quartet expires.
Last September, the Quartet, which consists of the US, EU, UN and Russia, gave the two sides three months to come forth with proposals that would pave the way for the resumption of the direct negotiations.
The official told The Jerusalem Post that the continued construction in the settlements and recent plans to build new homes and confiscate lands in east Jerusalem “prove that Israel is not serious about resuming the peace process.”
The official said that the Palestinians would be forced to withdraw from the talks in Amman “if Israel insisted on pursuing its current policies, which jeopardize the peace process.”
The PA Foreign Ministry Thursday called on the Quartet and the international community to intervene with Israel to stop the continued construction in the settlements and east Jerusalem.
The ministry released a statement saying Israel’s “provocations and aggression against Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian territories would sabotage all efforts to resume the peace talks.”
The ministry said that Israel’s actions leave the Palestinians with no choice but to pursue their efforts to seek unilateral UN recognition of a Palestinian state. The ministry also threatened to pursue “Israeli war criminals and have them prosecuted before international courts and forums.”
Hana Amireh, member of the PLO executive committee, said that Israel has yet to respond to Palestinian proposals regarding security and borders.
The proposals were presented to Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molcho during the Amman meetings.
Amireh said that Israel was “not serious” about the talks.
He confirmed that a third meeting would be held in Jordan between the two sides in the coming days. The Palestinians won’t agree to continue the talks after January 26 unless Israel changes its policies, he said.