After spending weeks angrily insisting that any direct peace talks with the Palestinians be “unconditional,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today issued a number of demands for the talks to proceed.
The Palestinians, unsurprisingly, rejected the demands. They had previously demanded that the Israeli government negotiate around the 1967 borders and stop the demolition of Arab homes in occupied East Jerusalem. Again unsurprisingly, Israel rejected those demands.
The dueling demands and dueling rejections point to the difficulty with the direct peace talks, coming after weeks of failing indirect talks. The two sides appear to be irreconcilable on a number of issues, and it seems that Israel’s end to the West Bank settlement freeze next month could bring the talks to a screeching halt.
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