Abbas: Israeli settlement expansion blocks any peace deal

AP News
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Posted: May 22, 2015 6:02 AM

SOUTHERN SHUNEH, Jordan (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says Israel stands in the way of any peace deal because it is perpetuating its military occupation and keeps expanding settlements.

Abbas spoke Friday at a regional World Economic Forum conference in Jordan.

The Palestinian leader says he remains committed to setting up a Palestinian state alongside Israel, in the lands Israel captured in 1967. He says that "what prevents the achievement of this desire is Israel's continuation of its occupation and settlement activity and imposing realities on the ground."

Abbas did not refer to the changed circumstances created by the formation of a new hardline Israeli government this month; key members oppose any land concessions to the Palestinians.

The last high-level Israeli-Palestinian talks were held seven years ago and prospects for resuming them are slim.