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UN interested in talks with Hamas

February 16, 2014 at 5:18 am

UN Middle East Peace Envoy, Robert Serry, last week told Israeli newspaper Haartetz that the peace process in the region is in an “extremely grave condition” noting that talks with Hamas were sometimes in Israel’s interest.

Serry urged Palestinians and Israelis to move ahead with peace talks toward the achievement of the two-state solution. He said that there must be a horizon for the peace process in 2013 and warned that this year is critical for the two-state solution. 

Reiterating the importance of widening the ground for talks with the Palestinians, the UN official said that talks with the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas are sometimes in Israel’s interest.

The official described the gap between the Palestinians and the Israelis as very wide and asserted that it had reached a state that is definitely harming the peace process in the region. He said that the two sides had reached “make or break time.”

Peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians were halted four years ago and Palestinian Authority President, Mahnmoud Abbas, blames Israel for the extended deadlock.

He told Al-Arabiya TV last week that Israel has refused to stop constructing settlements in the West Bank for the past four years.

This is the pre-condition for the Palestinian side to resume negotiations.

The Israeli side insists on resuming negotiations without pre-conditions, while it continues to construct settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.