Israeli PM: Palestinians not interested in talks



JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s prime minister says the Palestinians have no interest in restarting peace negotiations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s observation comes just days after negotiators met for the first time in more than a year.

Netanyahu told Israeli lawmakers Monday that the Palestinians are trying to impose preconditions for talks, instead of engaging in them.

Israeli-Palestinian talks have been stalled for more than three years over the issue of Israeli settlement construction. On Jan. 3, negotiators began meeting in hopes of finding a formula to restart formal negotiations.

Netanyahu said he is ready to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at any time, but Abbas refuses.

There was no immediate Palestinian comment.

Netanyahu’s comments were relayed by a meeting participant who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was closed.