Peace talks face collapse over settlement expansion: Palestinians
RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories (AFP) - Middle East peace talks could "collapse" due to continuing Israeli settlement expansion, a senior Palestinian official warned on Tuesday, on the eve of the scheduled resumption of the fragile process.
"Settlement expansion goes against the US administration's pledges and threatens to cause the negotiations' collapse," Yasser Abed Rabbo said.
The comments came after Israeli authorities approved the construction of a total of more than 2,000 settlement units in east Jerusalem and the West Bank in the days leading up to Wednesday's scheduled new round of direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.
The approval on Sunday of 793 settlement housing units in annexed east Jerusalem and 394 elsewhere in the West Bank - followed by Tuesday's separate announcement of a further 942 in east Jerusalem - hiked up tension ahead of the meeting of Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.