PA's UN Envoy Blames Israel for Lack of Progress in Peace Talks
The Palestinian Authority’s envoy to the United Nations blamed Israel on Tuesday for the lack of progress in the renewed peace talks between the sides.
Speaking during a debate in the Security Council on the Middle East, Riyad Mansour said that “tangible progress remains elusive” in the peace talks, The Associated Press reported.
Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor struck a similarly dim tone at the same debate. Both sides lashed out at each other for recent violence and gave no signs of budging on long-held stances that have obstructed peace prospects for decades.
Mansour claimed that “despite genuine efforts being exerted tangible progress remains elusive and hopes are diminishing.”
He blamed what he termed “provocative Israel actions and declarations” for undermining the “spirit and intent of the negotiations.”
Under intense U.S. pressure, the two sides resumed direct talks for the first time in nearly three years in Washington at the end of July.
As part of the peace talks, both sides have been asked to keep the details of the negotiations secret in order to give the process a chance to work. Israeli officials have remain tight-lipped about the talks but PA officials have made several leaks to the press, such as claiming that Israel agreed to a wholesale deportation of thousands of Jews from Judea and Samaria and the transfer of their property to PA Arabs.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who has for years demanded a state based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Six Day War, recently stated that unless Israel meets all of his preconditions, there will be no peace.
Those preconditions include a Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem and a release of all PA Arab terrorists from Israeli jails.
There have been several reports in recent days that the peace talks are deadlocked, including one report that quoted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as having admitted as such.
Abbas denied this week that the talks were deadlocked, saying in an interview on a German network that each side had discussed proposals offered by the other.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, whose shuttle diplomacy made the resumption of talks possible, said on Monday that the talks were intensifying and that all issues were on the table.
UN Under Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman acknowledged during Tuesday’s Security Council discussion that “despite the intensification of negotiations, there have been worrisome developments on the ground that we cannot ignore.”
He may have been referring to Israel’s planned construction of new homes in Judea and Samaria, which has been condemned by the world despite the fact that the PA negotiators were informed of the building prior to the latest round of talks, and despite the fact that the construction will take place in areas which even the PA has accepted in previous negotiations will be within Israeli borders.