Obama to Mediate Israel-PA Talks

American media is reporting that U.S. President Obama plans to moderate talks between Israeli and Palestinian Authority leaders in one month.

Maayana Miskin ,

U.S. President Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama
Israel news photo: White House

Talks between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will begin in under a month with help from a new moderator – United States President Barack Obama. So reports the American television news network Fox News, based on an exclusive interview with President Shimon Peres.

Peres told Fox that the three-way meeting is expected to take place at the United Nations compound in New York.

In advance of the meeting, Israeli, American, and European officials continue to talk regarding the PA's demand that Israel freeze construction in Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem. The PA has warned that it will not begin negotiations as long as Jews are allowed to build in areas that the PA claims as the site of a future Arab state.

The PA is backed by the U.S. and the E.U., both of which have pressured Israel to halt construction.

When it comes to the proposed building freeze, Netanyahu “knows he must do it,” Peres said. The prime minister “is aware of the choice, and he knows there is no chance, no escape, no alternative to go ahead and make peace,” he stated.

If negotiations between Israel and the PA resume, they will not include Hamas, Peres said. Hamas became part of the PA leadership after winning the most recent PA elections, but later split from the Fatah-led PA after staging a violent coup in Gaza. Currently, Hamas rules Gaza, while the Fatah-led PA controls Arab towns in Judea and Samaria.