Arab League to PA: Go Ahead With US-Brokered Talks With Israel
Arab countries are renewing attempts to push Israel back into negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, telling the PA to conduct indirect negotiations with Israel for four-months. The announcement came following a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo.
The United States will serve as broker between the two, as per a previous decision by the Arab League.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas has consented to the agreement, according to a report in the Associated Press. President Barack Obama's Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, announced that her office, via envoy George Mitchell, will begin to mediate talks this week.
In March, an announcement by the Housing Ministry that new apartments would be built in a Jewish neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem put the brakes on America's rush to the negotiating table, coinciding with a visit to Israel by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. Biden was in Jerusalem to stress America's desire for talks to Israeli upper eschelons, with a diplomatic drama ensuing.
Hillary Clinton called the ill-timed announcement "insulting" to the United States, and proceeded to verbally berate Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a phone conversation between the two.
The Palestinian Authority has refused to meet with Israeli representatives for direct talks until Israel agrees to terminate all construction for Jews in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem.