Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh said that Abbas had sent an “urgent message” to the US administration saying he would not return to the negotiating table with Israel as long as construction in the settlements continued.
Despite Abbas’s threat, a top PA official told The Jerusalem Post that he did not rule out the possibility that Abbas would agree to resuming talks with Israel. The official pointed out that the PA president had come under heavy pressure from the US to retract his earlier decision to boycott the talks unless Israel halted all settlement construction.
Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the Netanyahu government was refusing to resume talks with the Palestinians from the point where they ended under the previous government of Ehud Olmert.
Erekat also accused Israel of failing to fulfill its obligations under the road map plan for peace in the Middle East, especially with regards to freezing settlement construction, including for natural growth in these communities.