ME peace talks at stake
Settlement curbs end:
ISRAEL: A partial moratorium on Israeli settlement
construction in the occupied West Bank ends tomorrow, threatening to
derail Middle East peace talks less than a month after they started.
The Israeli Government has made it clear the moratorium, which began
last November, will not be extended, even though the Palestinians have
threatened to walk out of the talks if building resumes.
The deadline for the end of the freeze is widely accepted as
September 26, 10 months after the original cabinet decision to impose it
expires, though a military order sets the date at September 30.
Either way, the coming days could prove crucial to the fragile peace
process, with the future of negotiations between Israel and the
Palestinians at stake.
“The negotiations will continue as long as the settlement remains
frozen,” Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas told AFP earlier this week,
adding that he would not negotiate “for a single day more” if the curbs
are not extended. But Israel is adamant.
JERUSALEM, Friday, AFP