Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a meeting of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee at his headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah, 20 Aug. 2010
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says his faction will pull out of peace talks with the Israelis - set to resume next week - if Israel does not extend a freeze on construction in West Bank settlements that is set to expire September 26.
The warning from the Palestinian leader came in letters to President Barack Obama, as well as to the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia ...[not to Israel? - SL]...
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat ... said that if the Israelis decide not to extend the freeze of construction in settlements after September 26, it means that the Palestinians will not be able to continue talks.
...Deputy Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom accused Palestinian leaders of creating excuses to make the negotiations fail before they start.
He said Israel should make it clear that it is going into direct negotiations without any further conditions and without preconditions. The Israeli official said Israel should be able to make decisions freely, without threats from the Palestinians...
PS If 1.5 million Arabs in Israel is not an "obstacle to peace" then why are several hundred thousand Jews in the West Bank a problem? - SL