Palestinian negotiator: talks "useless" without settlement frieze
Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said that direct talks with Israel are useless unless a construction freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank is renewed, a regional daily reported on Saturday, DPA reported.
"Yes, we are at the end of the game. It is now the time for decisions. Negotiations are useless. It is now his (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) choice; either peace or settlements," Erakat told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.
Erakat, who was in Washington this week, said that the Palestinians will give the United States around three more weeks to hear back what Israel's final decision regarding settlement construction is.
Palestinians have presented to the Arab League alternatives to direct Israeli peace talks, including possibly having the United Nations recognise a Palestinian state without Israeli approval.
Israeli-Palestinian direct peace talks resumed in early September but fell into limbo within weeks, when Netanyahu allowed a 10-month partial settlement construction freeze to expire.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has signalled there would be no further negotiations unless Israel halted construction of settlements on land that Palestinians argue would be part of a future Palestinian state.