The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has said that it has "closed the door of peace" with Israel "completely" after the failure of John Kerry's efforts to achieve a breakthrough in negotiations. Senior Executive Committee member Wasel Abu-Yousif told the Palestinian daily Al-Resalah that reaching a peace deal during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's term of office has become "impossible".
Abu-Yousif described Netanyahu's government as "racist and extremist", and insisted that all chances of an agreement with such a government have been closed off as its actions on the ground show that it does not really want peace.
"The Israeli government has taken all sorts of steps to undermine Kerry's efforts," he said. "It only buys time in order to steal more Palestinian land and carry out more settlement construction."
The PLO official was critical of America's role in reviving the peace process. "The US does not make the effort needed to oblige the Israeli occupation authorities to stop settlement construction and recognise Palestinian rights." All of the US focus is on trying to get the Palestinians to drop any preconditions, he added.
He called for real Arab and international pressure on the Israelis to be serious about the peace process, as well as an end to unilateral acts by Tel Aviv which erode the likelihood of a two-state solution.