Know More About Palestine

Monday March 1, 2010 8:17 PM (EST+7)
Dahlan: US answers not yet enough for Mideast talks

Read more: Indirect talks, Palestinian-Israeli talks, peace process, US proposal

RAMALLAH, West Bank, March 1 (Reuters) - A Palestinian official said on Monday the United States had yet to give adequate answers to Palestinian queries on a proposal for indirect negotiations with Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, facing US and Israeli calls for an immediate resumption of peace talks, had asked the United States to clarify its proposal for indirect negotiations.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week she hoped talks would start shortly.

But Mohammed Dahlan, senior official in Abbas's Fatah party, said the US clarifications received so far were not enough.

I can say that up until now, the American responses to the Palestinian questions have not been enough, he said.

Abbas has demanded a full halt to Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967, before any resumption of negotiations.

Israel rejected his call, instead imposing a limited, temporary freeze on settlement expansion in the West Bank, but excluding East Jerusalem, which Israel considers part of what it calls its indivisible capital.

Palestinian officials have said the latest US efforts to revive the peace process have been damaged by recent Israeli moves including a decision to include West Bank religious sites in a Jewish heritage plan.

Palestinians see the plan, announced last week, as a move to strengthen Israeli control over land where they hope to found their state. Israel says the aim is to preserve the sites, not to impinge on Muslim worship.

The Ramallah-based Palestinian cabinet convened in the city of Hebron on Monday in protest against the plan.


The cabinet headed by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad listed the project among Israeli provocations including plans for 600 new homes on occupied land in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as their capital.

Israel's moves, the cabinet said in a statement, threaten to drag the region to a new cycle of violence and destroy the state of stability which the Palestinian Authority is working to establish.

Palestinian anger over the heritage project has already ignited violence. Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers clashed in Hebron over several days last week.

They also clashed at Jerusalem's most sensitive holy site on Sunday. A gunman wounded an Israeli security guard on Monday near an apartment block that houses Jewish settlers in an area of East Jerusalem.

The West Bank was a main front in an armed Palestinian uprising against Israel earlier this decade. Israeli officials have praised the current stability, in part attributed to Palestinian security forces retooled with EU and US backing.

The Hamas Islamist group, which controls the Gaza Strip and is hostile to Israel, has called on Palestinians to respond to the Israeli heritage plan by staging a new uprising in the West Bank.

The cabinet called on the international Quartet of Middle East negotiators -- the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia -- to halt the Israeli policy which is destroying the future of security and peace in the region.

By. Ali Sawafta

 (Additional reporting by Yosri Aljamal in Hebron and Ori Lewis in Jerusalem; Writing by Tom Perry)







Al-Madaris St. (same building as
MBC and al-Arabiya studios)
First Floor, Al-Bireh
PO Box 4045, Ramallah
PO Box 25047, Jerusalem 97300
Phone: ++972-2-297-6555
Fax: ++972-2-297-6555
Log in to My JMCC
 or Sign Up
Forgot your password?Close
Front Page
My Comments Photo of the Day
Calendar Hot Spot(for journalists)
Audio of the Day Video of the Day
Most Popular Historical Timeline
Noticeboard Blogs
My Tags Help Desk
User Info
First Name
Last Name
My Tags 
I am a
After signing up,you will receive
an automatically
generated password in your
Recover Password
Submit Your Email
 or Sign Up