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Abbas: No Peace Talks With Settlement Building

Mahmud Abbas

Mahmud Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas has warned that he will not back down from his threat to pull out of new peace talks with Israel if it resumes construction in West Bank settlements.

The negotiations are set to resume this week in Washington after months of American mediation efforts.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a 10-month partial freeze in settlement construction to boost prospects for talks, but the negotiations are resuming just three weeks before the freeze expires.

Netanyahu has not pledged to renew it, facing stiff opposition from hard-line coalition partners in his government.

Israelis themselves are divided over the settlements. Reflecting that divide, leading Israeli theater actors and playwrights pledged on August 29 not to perform in West Bank settlements.

compiled from agency reports