Israel has been warned to choose between Jewish settlements in the West Bank, or peace. Ahead of more talks tomorrow in Egypt, Israel is unwilling to rule out further settlement building. The Palestinians say they’ll let the nascent talks collapse if that’s the case. Israel also wants Palestinian recognition of its right to exist, but that’s unlikely.
“We have agreed to discuss land, borders and security,” said senior Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath. “We will not discuss the Jewish state, it was never part of any discussion before.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Quartet envoy Tony Blair that Israel was not planning to build all the houses some fear are planned, but would not, as he said, ‘freeze the lives of West Bank settlers’.
There’s been intense American pressure for renewed talks, with Washington hoping for a deal in the next year. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said she hopes Israel will choose peace.