Security barrier
Security barrierFlash 90

There can be no peace with Israel without first defining the borders of a future Palestinian state, Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday.

"We are determined to know our borders and theirs, without that there will be no peace," he said as Washington's nine-month deadline for reaching a peace deal expired, leaving the process in tatters.

An Israeli official said on Monday that the United States had in the past backed Israel’s position that it will not negotiate with any PA government that is supported by Hamas, even if it is made up of political independents and apolitical technocratic figures who meet international conditions for acceptance.

In fact, that official told The New York Times, Israel had received “a specific commitment from the American administration” backing that position.

The Israeli official, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the subject’s diplomatic delicacy, said that the commitment had been given to Israel during President Barack Obama’s first term in office and that it had been restated since his re-election. The official would not specify whether the commitment had been given in writing or by the president himself.