Renewed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations collapse

Thursday, December 13, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

The resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks got off to a rocky start on Wednesday night when the two sides officially met for the first time since last month's US-hosted Middle East summit in Annapolis, Maryland.

Observers said the Palestinian side opened the meeting by lashing out at the Israelis for approving the relatively routine construction of 300 new apartments in a Jewish neighborhood in southern Jerusalem. The neighborhood of Har Homa, insisted the Palestinians, lies on the side of Jerusalem Israel will have to surrender if it wants peace.

The Israelis shot back that the Palestinians were still, after more than a decade of peacemaking, failing to honor their commitment to curb anti-Israel terrorism. They noted that just last month Palestinian Authority police officers, the very ones that should be preventing attacks on Israelis, carried out the fatal shooting of a young Israeli father in Samaria.

Following the meeting, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told The Associated Press he was unsure when another round of talks would take place.

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