Israel Demands Palestinians Restart Direct Talks

Officials Mock Palestinian Efforts to Seek Recognition for Independence

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev today demanded that the Palestinian government abandon its efforts at international recognition as an independent state and instead return to direct peace talks.

The talks have been stalled since September, when the Israeli government ended its settlement freeze and began expanding settlements further into the territory of what was supposed to be a Palestinian state. The Palestinians have insisted the talks are impossible without a freeze, because the territory they are negotiating over is just getting progressively smaller.

But Regev and others mocked the Palestinian effort to secure international recognition of their independence as a “mirage” and insisted that only direct negotiations could ever secure peace.

Palestinian negotiator Erekat insisted that the peace talks with Israel are clearly at a “dead-end” and that instead of trying effort after effort to kick-start the failing direct talks they were moving ahead with efforts to secure recognition from the Quartet.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.