Acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to resign because he expects no concrete outcome in the peace process with hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
During a telephone conversation last week, Abbas told US President Barack Obama that he sees no chance of "capitulation" by the Tel Aviv administration to halt the illegal settlement constructions in the West Bank, Israel’s Channel 10 television reported on Monday.
Obama set Middle East peace as a top priority at the start of his presidency in January, in contrast to his predecessor George W. Bush, who was criticized internationally for neglecting the long-running conflict. But so far, the new administration has little to show for its efforts.
Netanyahu, whose right-leaning coalition includes pro-settler parties, has resisted Obama’s calls for a total freeze on settlements in the occupied West Bank.
According to the 2002 Roadmap for Peace plan brokered by the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia, Israel has to ‘dismantle settlement outposts erected since 2001 and also freeze all settlement activities.’
It is estimated that there are almost 200,000 illegal Jewish settlers in Jerusalem (al-Quds). There are also about 300,000 more illegal Jewish settlers living in settlements across the occupied West Bank.
All Jewish settlements are illegal under international law because they are erected on occupied lands that the Palestinians claim for their future state.