Israeli settlement still major obstacle for peace with Palestinians

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Israeli settlement still major obstacle for peace with Palestinians

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Israel and Palestinian officials have agreed to hold direct peace talks for the first time in 20 months with the US asking both sides to strike deal within a year.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the meetings would resume on September 2 and warned they cannot afford to fail.

“There have been difficulties in the past, there will be difficulties ahead. Without a doubt we will hit more obstacles.

The enemies of peace will keep trying to defeat us and to derail peace talks.”

Talks broke down in December 2008 when Israel bombed the Gaza Strip in what it said was an attempt to stop rocket attacks by Hamas.
Despite both parties returning to the negotiating table, several obstacles to peace remain.

The chief Palestinian negotatior has already warned that the talks could fail if Israel does not stop building settlements in the contested West Bank area.

There are also disagreements over the right to return for Palestinan refugees and the borders of future Palestian state.

The Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of that state.

Israel captured that part of the city from Jordan in the 1967 war and sees it as its indivisable capital.