Tuesday 23 January 2018

Palestinians step back from peace talks

Hopes that Israeli and Palestinian leaders could imminently resume peace talks have been dealt a blow after Palestinian officials unexpectedly refused to back US Secretary of State John Kerry's latest initiative.

Expectations that both sides could be about to hold direct talks for the first time since 2010 were raised earlier this week when Arab League representatives approved Mr Kerry's plan.

But a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organisation executive committee in Ramallah broke up without any agreement. The committee is expected to reconvene later today.

The sticking point for the Palestinians appears to be Israeli settlement building in the West Bank.

Jewish settlements are considered illegal under international law, but have nonetheless continued to be built.

Irish Independent

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