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Sunday Jan. 15, 2012 1:06 PM (EST+7)
Palestinians hesitant over continuing talks

Read more: negotiations, peace process, Saeb Erekat, Yitzhak Molcho, demonstrations, protests, Oslo

RAMALLAH, January 15 (JMCC) - Palestinians and Israelis met for a third time in Amman Saturday, reportedly trying to find a way to more substantial talks.

The Palestinian side has said that it will not renew negotiations with Israel without a freeze in the construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and a commitment to the 1967 borders. Palestinian officials declare they will decide by the end of the month whether to continue the exploratory meetings, writes Haaretz.

It is up to Israel to decide if negotiations will happen or not. It's very easy. They just have to fulfill their international obligations ... including a full settlement freeze. The ball is on their side, not ours, Xavier Abu Eid, a senior adviser to chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, told dpa Sunday.

President Mahmoud Abbas told senior members of his Fatah party that if we agree on a common ground, then we go to negotiations; but if the ground is not there, then what are we supposed to negotiate about? So far, there is no agreement on the ground.

Abbas' spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, was quoted in the semi-official daily al-Ayyam as saying that January 26 remains a crossroad; we either make progress in these exploratory meetings or we will be forced to take decisions.

According to the Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat, Saturday's meeting was held solely between PLO representative Saeb Erekat and Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molcho, without no international interlocutor.

Another meeting will be held in January 25, after which Palestinians will decide whether to continue the talks.

Several dozen Palestinians held a demonstration against the talks in Amman in front of Ramallah's main government building, the Muqataa, on Saturday, reported Arab48. A sign held by a protester told passing drivers to honk to register their displeasure. We are fed up with negotiations, read another. 






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