Palestinians blame Israel for exploratory talks' failure

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 30, 2012 4:14 PM
Palestinians blame Israel for exploratory talks' failure

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian leaders blamed Israel on Monday for the failure of exploratory talks aimed at resuming peace negotiations, and said they plan to explore alternative ways to bring about a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The talks ended in Jordan on January 25 without achieving any progress and Palestinian officials said President Mahmoud Abbas planned to consult fellow Arabs on his next move.

"In light of the results of the Amman meetings, the Palestinian leadership holds Israel fully responsible for their failure," the top Palestinian decision-making body, the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said in a statement on Monday.

"These meetings exposed Israel's determination to pursue settlement activity and its rejections of the two state solution based on the 1967 boundaries," it added in the statement, issued after a meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

A committee member said the Palestinian leadership decided not to return to the talks held in the Jordanian capital, as demanded by Europe and the United States.

Peace negotiations foundered in late 2010 with Palestinians demanding that Israel suspend settlement building in the occupied West Bank, including Arab East Jerusalem.

Abbas also demanded that Israel agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state on all lands occupied in the 1967 Middle East war before resuming negotiations.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta; writing by Sami Aboudi; editing by David Stamp)