A senior Palestinian official says that Israel is bargaining with the US to get a "higher price" in exchange for a freeze on settlement construction.
Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, said that Israel wants "to gain more time to create facts on the ground" during its talks with the US, referring to the Jewish settlement building, Xinhua reported.
He warned that prolonged talks between Israel and the US will not help solve the Palestinians’ issues, saying that Tel Aviv is merely trying to get "a high price from Washington" in exchange for the building freeze.
The US recently offered a package of incentives to Israel, which include additional sales of advanced F-35 jets and a guarantee to Tel Aviv that any resolutions against Israelis in the United Nations Security Council would be vetoed by Washington.
The incentives came as Palestinians and Israelis are locked in a political deadlock in direct talks, which were resumed in early September in the United States, but three weeks later were brought to a standstill mainly due to Israeli’s refusal to extend a partial 10-month freeze on the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Palestinians believe that expansion of Jewish settlements on their lands will make the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip impossible.
Tel Aviv officially resumed its illegal construction work in the West Bank on September 26, just hours after the expiration of the partial freeze on settlement construction, despite worldwide condemnation.