The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is to pull out of indirect peace talks with Israel, according to the secretary general of the Arab League.
The news came during a meeting in Cairo of the League where it added its condemnation to that of Washington’s over Israel’s announcement that it will build more settler homes in East Jerusalem.
Amr Moussa explained that it will take actions rather than words to bring the two sides together:
“The condemnation is not enough; the condemnation is welcomed but cannot really bring the partners to the table of negotiations while the Territories are being settled and announcements one after the other by the government of Israel that they are going to build more settlements in Jerusalem.”
It appears then that US Vice President Joe Biden’s mission to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks may have been scuppered.
He knows that Mahmoud Abbas reluctantly agreed to so-called “proximity” talks after Israel had ordered a limited halt to new housing starts in the West Bank.
Although Israel has always exempted settlement building in Jerusalem, the US says the timing of the announcement has undermined any possibility of much needed trust.