Friday 13 December 2019

Israeli government halts peace talks with Palestinians

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Reuters/Mohamad Torokman
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Reuters/Mohamad Torokman

The Israeli government said it has decided to halt peace talks with the Palestinians in response to a new unity agreement between rival Palestinian factions.

The decision appears to end a nine-month peace initiative by US secretary of state John Kerry.

The negotiating period is scheduled to end next Tuesday, though the sides had been trying to agree to an extension.

Israel's Security Cabinet unanimously decided to cut off contacts after a five-hour meeting today. They announced the decision in a statement sent to journalists.

Israel is furious over Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas' decision to form a unity government with the rival Hamas movement after a seven-year rift.

Israel and the West consider Hamas a terrorist group.

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