Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today insisted that the renewal of settlement construction in the occupied West Bank will have “no affect” on the peace process with the Palestinian Authority, despite the fact that it clearly brought them to the brink of collapse.
The talks seem to be in a state of suspended animation at the moment, as the Obama Administration struggles to convince Israel to make some sort of concession that might save the talks, and as Netanyahu vows not to make any such concessions, while simultaneously maintaining that he is uniquely committed to the peace process.
Palestinian officials have accepted the notion of returning to talks if Israel promises to continue the freeze in some shape or form. US officials have floated the idea of a freeze restricted only to certain settlements.
Netanyahu, meanwhile, says the Palestinains need to be “flexible” about the talks and insists that their impending failure is entirely the fault of the Palestinian Authority. The claim seems increasingly less credible, however, as Israeli officials continue to openly criticize the idea of the peace process in general.
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