Palestinian official: no more discussions before solving settlement building crisis
A Palestinian official on Tuesday said there will be no new round of talks with Israel unless a solution on Jewish settlement building is reached, Xinhua reported.
Nabil Shaath, a negotiator, said that the negotiations, which resumed on September 2, will remain suspended "as long as Israel's government doesn't stop settlement construction."
On Sunday, Israel ended a 10-month partial moratorium on building in the West Bank settlements, provoking the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), which had been vowing not to go ahead with the peace talks if the moratorium would not be extended.
The United States has also called on Israel to renew the building freeze.
Shaath said that the Palestinians were hoping to hear an Israeli decision extending the moratorium by October 4, when Arab nations would meet to assess the negotiations and decide on their future.
He also reiterated that the Palestinians will not accept any middle-ground compromise to the settlement. "There is no alternative to one formula ending this crisis: the full stopping of the settlement building, even for a specific time."
The construction resumes in the West Bank, which is supposed to form the future Palestinian statehood together with the Gaza Strip. During the settlement freeze, Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want its eastern part as a future capital, was excluded from the moratorium.
Three rounds of talks have taken place since the resumption of the peace process this month. The Palestinians concentrate on reaching an agreement on the borders of the Palestinian statehood, believing that such a deal would resolve the settlement's crisis by itself.