RAMALLAH, West Bank – The Palestinian Authority Monday warned that violence could once again convulse the region if the United States fails to get Israel to halt settlements as part of a resumed peace process.
“If America remains unable to assume its required role there will be a destructive effect for which Israel and the United States will be held responsible,” presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP.
“Violence will rush in to fill the void left by the failure of efforts to relaunch the peace process if the US administration does not hurry up and exert pressure on the Israeli government,” he added.
The Palestinians have said they will not resume peace talks suspended during the Gaza war at the turn of the year unless Washington first convinces Israel to completely halt the construction of settlements on the occupied West Bank. The Palestinians have also insisted on a clear framework for the talks and a timetable for the establishment of an independent state in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Occupied east Jerusalem, territories occupied by Israel in 1967.
“The peace process has hit a dead end because of Israel’s intransigence and its insistence on a policy of colonisation,” Abu Rudeina said.
His remarks came hours before Israel’s hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to meet US President Barack Obama in Washington.
Netanyahu has said he is willing to relaunch peace talks immediately but has refused Washington’s demands for a freeze of settlements, instead offering a set of proposals for settlement limits that falls short of a complete halt. – AFP