Israeli minister, Silvan Shalom, has said that negotiations with the Palestinians are continuing despite the serious difficulties facing them.
During a radio interview on Saturday, Shalom said that the criticism directed by some countries' governments against Israel over settlement construction showed moral double standards. He said that settlement construction does not constitute a condition for the negotiations.
In the meantime, a member of Fatah's Central Committee revealed that US Secretary of State, John Kerry, asked for two meetings with the Palestinian Authority's President, Mahmoud Abbas, during Kerry's visit to Bethlehem on Tuesday.
Abbas Zaki said in an interview with the Voice of Palestine radio station that it is time for the US administration to settle the issue of on-going settlement activity.
Zaki described Kerry's current visit as decisive because it would determine whether the United States is sponsoring the process or whether Israel is directing the US decisions on the Middle East region.