A senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official says there will be no direct talks with Israel if it keeps on expanding illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
“The Israeli side is determined to continue its settlement and we cannot continue negotiations under these unprecedented settlement attacks,” the official said on Tuesday night, following a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
“The Palestinian-Israeli negotiations broke down during the session on Tuesday night,” he revealed.
Earlier in the day, acting PA chief Mahmoud Abbas described Israelâ€™s settlement activities as damaging to the so-called peace talks.
Israel has recently freed 104 Palestinian prisoners, as part of a deal for the resumption of the talks with the PA, but it has also announced plans to build about 5,000 more illegal settlement units on the occupied Palestinian land.
Earlier this month, a large number of Palestinians from different political movements took to the streets of the West Bank city of Ramallah to call on the PA to pull out from the talks with Israel.
Supporters of all Palestinian factions, including the Islamic resistance movement Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, gathered in central Arafat square to protest against the talks.
The protesters said the talks are useless and Abbas must withdraw from the negotiations.
They also demanded the PA take the regime in Tel Aviv to the International Criminal Court for its crimes against the people of Palestine.
The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.