Palestinians Quit Peace Talks Despite Promises Not To

Friday, November 15, 2013 |  Israel Today Staff

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni on Thursday said that the Palestinian Authority had broken its promises to both Israel and the US by walking out on the peace process.

For days already, regional media had been speculating that the Palestinians were not coming back to the negotiating table after Israel approved the construction of more homes for Jews in Jerusalem and parts of Samaria.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday confirmed the rumors to Egyptian television, suggesting that despite Obama Administration claims to the contrary, nothing had really been achieved after months of talks, anyway.

Abbas went on to insist that unless Israel were more forthcoming with concessions, the Palestinians would "feel free to do whatever we want." He did not elaborate.

Livni said this was precisely what Abbas had promised not to do when he rejoined US-brokered peace talks earlier this year. Israel never agreed to a freeze on Jewish construction as a precondition for talks, Livni noted, nor do previous agreements prohibit such construction, as a legal expert recently pointed out to US Secretary of State John Kerry.

"The negotiations must continue," said Livni, adding that she "expects the PA not to take every opportunity to turn these negotiations into a drama for political purposes."

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