Hillary Clinton’s latest Middle East peace bid has been dismissed as “nothing new” by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Meeting the US Secretary of State in Abu Dhabi, he reiterated that there would be no resumption of talks with Israel unless there is a total freeze in Jewish settlement building. The situation is complicated further because Gaza is run by rival Palestinian faction Hamas. For Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, the Americans’ role in the region is doomed to failure. He said this was because their position is against the will of the Palestinian people and because of their refusal to admit the legitimacy of Hamas after the last elections. Clinton is sure to raise the settlement issue when she meets Benjamin Netanyahu later today. But despite President Obama’s high-priority Middle East peace drive, the Israeli leader has rebuffed his call for a complete freeze on settlement construction.