Israel, PA begin negotiations amid news blackout

 The Israeli regime and the Palestinian Authority have held a new round of talks amid a strict official news blackout.
On Wednesday, Palestinian and Israeli negotiators began talks in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

The Israeli side had previously announced that there would be no statements or pictures from the meeting.

On July 29, the Israelis held direct talks with negotiators from the Palestinian Authority in Washington.

Following the end of the two-day US-brokered talks, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the Palestinian Authority and Israelis would reopen negotiations “within the next two weeks.”

Last Palestinian-Israeli talks had broken down in September 2010 after Tel Aviv refused to freeze its settlement activities in the occupied West Bank.

On Tuesday, Tel Aviv announced that another 900 new settlements would be built in Gilo in East al-Quds in addition to 1,200 settler homes approved by Israel on Sunday.

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.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.

The United Nations and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Convention, which forbids construction on occupied lands.



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