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News Link • Israel - Palestine

Palestinian negotiation team resigns over Israeli settlement building

•, Al Arabiya
 Peace talks resumed in July after a three-year hiatus but continued Israeli settlement expansions repeatedly threatened to break them.

President Abbas said the peace talks would continue despite the resignation of his negotiation team.

“Either we can convince them to return, and we're trying with them, or we form a new delegation,” he told Egyptian privately-owned CBC television.

It was unclear from Abbas's interview when the Palestinian negotiators had quit, but Abbas said he would need about a week to resume the talks.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told Reuters on Wednesday that talks with Israel were frozen, but did not elaborate on the report of his resignation.

“In reality, the negotiations stopped last week in light of the settlement announcements last week,” he said.

Israel has announced plans for building several thousand new settler homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Housing Ministry had commissioned separate plans for nearly 24,000 more homes for Israelis in the two areas, despite U.S. and Palestinian warnings that such moves threaten peace talks.

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