Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas has dismissed Israel’s plan for a ‘temporary halt’ in settlement construction as insufficient to resume peace negotiations.
During his first visit to Venezuela, Abbas said on Friday that "we can’t accept the current Israeli government’s concept for the negotiations."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved a 10 month halt on settlement construction in the occupied West Bank excluding East Jerusalem Al-Quds on Wednesday, calling for the resumption of stalled peace talks with the Palestinians.
"We don’t have any condition to restarting negotiations except the commitment of the two sides to the foundations of the peace operation according to the road map, and especially stopping the expansionist activities of the Israelis," Abbas added.
He said Wednesday’s announcement by Netanyahu "didn’t bring anything new because the occupation is going to continue in the West Bank and in Jerusalem."
"The Israeli prime minister had to choose between peace and occupation. Lamentably, he chose occupation," Abbas said.
He told Venezuela’s National Assembly that the long history of negotiations has indicated that Israel "doesn’t want peace".