JERUSALEM (AP) — The Palestinians have spurned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest invitation to resume peace talks, insisting the Israelis freeze settlement construction first.
Netanyahu on Wednesday proposed to start direct talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, without any preconditions. The call followed an appeal from international mediators. Negotiations broke down in late 2010.
Abbas’ spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, said on Thursday that Abbas is ready for talks only if Israel halts settlement construction and accepts its 1967 boundaries as the basis for negotiations. Otherwise, he says, any negotiations will “waste time.”
Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza, territories claimed by the Palestinians, in 1967.