Arab League holds Israel responsible for failure of peace talks
The Arab League (AL) has held Tel Aviv responsible for the stalemate over US-brokered talks between the Israelis and Palestinian officials.
Arab foreign ministers made the remarks on Wednesday, during an emergency meeting with Acting Palestinian Authority (PA) chief Mahmoud Abbas in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.
Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi accused Tel Aviv of wasting time in the talks.
“Gaining time is a strategic objective for Israel,” he said.
This comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered a halt in direct talks between his ministers and Palestinians over the Palestinian Authority’s “provocative” bid to join the United Nations agencies.
Abbas signed a request to join 15 UN agencies and international treaties on April 1 after Israel refused to release the final batch of 26 Palestinian prisoners it had vowed to hand over.
On April 8, US Secretary of State John Kerry also slammed Israel for approving the construction of some 708 additional illegal settlement units on Palestinian territory and harming the talks.
The Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law. However, Netanyahu says the settlement construction is part of Tel Aviv’s policy and will not stop.
Talks between the two sides were halted in September 2010, before resuming in July last year.
Palestinians have been seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the Palestinian territories occupied in the Six-Day War of 1967.